Kumar Dharmasena, the former Sri Lankan offspinner, has retired from competitive cricket to concentrate on a new career as an umpire.
His farewell failed to pan out as expected when the Premier limited-overs match between Dharmasena's club Bloomfield and BRC was abandoned without a ball bowled due to poor ground conditions at Reid Avenue. "Many cricketers pursue different careers after they have finished playing," said Dharmasena. "I chose umpiring because it gives me a chance to be very close to the game which I love so dearly." He has so far officiated only in Sara trophy matches and hoped to go one notch higher next season by standing in the Premier competition.
Dharmasena played 31 Tests and 141 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka between 1993 and 2004. His talents as an allrounder were better suited to the one-day game and he was a key member of Sri Lanka's World Cup winning team in 1996. Dharmasena always bowled in Muttiah Muralitharan's shadow. His disciplined bowling complemented Muralitharan's attacking style and contributed to Sri Lanka winning several one-day tournaments.
He finished with 69 Test wickets and 138 one-day scalps and averaged 20 with the bat in both versions of the game. Dharmasena's career suffered a mild setback during the one-off Test against England at The Oval in 1998 when his bowling action was reported. He was not as effective when he returned to international cricket two years later.