Sri Lanka all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga has made the decision to retire from Test cricket at the age of 26. This move comes as he aims to prioritize his involvement in franchise cricket tournaments. While Hasaranga has only played four Tests, he is better known for his contributions in white-ball cricket.
Limited Success in Test Cricket
Hasaranga’s Test career has been relatively short, with him appearing in just four matches. Unfortunately, he struggled to make a significant impact with the ball, managing to take only four wickets at an average of 100.75. However, he did showcase his batting skills by scoring a half-century during the tour of South Africa.
Lack of Consistent Selection
While Hasaranga has not been a regular member of Sri Lanka’s Test squad in recent years, he had been included in some wider training groups ahead of Test series, only to be left out of the final squad. This uncertainty surrounding his selection led to his inability to commit to franchise cricket offers. In fact, he had to withdraw from the Major League Cricket just weeks before the tournament was scheduled to commence.
Cordial Discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket
Unlike some other players who faced resistance when attempting to retire from Test cricket, Hasaranga’s discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) were reportedly cordial. The board no longer saw him as a potential Test player and was supportive of his decision to pursue other opportunities as long as he remained available for Sri Lanka’s white-ball games. SLC CEO, Ashley De Silva, expressed confidence in Hasaranga’s role in the white-ball program going forward.
Reasons for Retirement
Hasaranga’s retirement from Test cricket was primarily driven by his desire to prolong his career as a limited-overs specialist. While he has not suffered any significant long-term injuries, he believes that focusing on white-ball cricket will allow him to excel in his preferred format of the game.
Impressive Limited-Overs Record
Hasaranga’s prowess in limited-overs cricket is well-established. He has represented Sri Lanka in 48 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 58 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). His contributions in these formats have been vital, making him a key member of the Sri Lankan limited-overs setup.
Throughout his career, Hasaranga has played 44 first-class games, where he showcased his skills with both bat and ball. He has picked up an impressive tally of 102 wickets and also boasts three first-class centuries and 19 half-centuries. These achievements highlight his versatility as an all-rounder.
Despite retiring from Test cricket, Hasaranga remains fully committed to representing Sri Lanka in upcoming tournaments. He is currently captaining his Lanka Premier League side, B-Love Kandy, and is set to participate in Sri Lanka’s forthcoming Asia Cup and World Cup campaigns. His experience and skills will be invaluable assets to the team.
Wanindu Hasaranga’s retirement from Test cricket marks a strategic decision to focus on franchise tournaments and establish himself as a limited-overs specialist. While he had limited success in Test matches, his contributions in white-ball cricket have been exceptional. With his impressive record and commitment to the Sri Lankan team, Hasaranga is poised to make a significant impact in future limited-overs tournaments.