Chanaka Welegedera migrates to Australia

Chanaka Welegedara catches a ball during a practice session in Galle AFP

Sri Lanka left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara has migrated to Australia after being overlooked for the home Test series against Pakistan. The move makes a Sri Lanka comeback highly unlikely.

His club, Tamil Union, hosted a farewell event for Welegedara on Monday, before he left the country this week. "Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan selectors preferred to go with younger options against Pakistan recently, and Welegedera has decided to pursue his career in Melbourne, where he'll be playing out his days in club cricket," said Suresh Murugaser, vice president of Tamil Union. Murugaser said Welegedara had received permanent residency in Australia, where the bowler believes his family would be better off.

"He had a good domestic season, even setting a T20 record for the most economical spell, against SSC this year," Murugaser said. "But despite that he was not chosen."

Welegedara, 34, had been Sri Lanka's leading seam bowler in a handful of matches, memorably taking a five-wicket haul to help Sri Lanka win their first Test in South Africa. However, his international career was affected by a slew of injuries. In the eight years since his Sri Lanka debut, he has only played 21 Tests and 10 ODIs. He had 55 Test wickets at an average of 41.32.