Nuwan Kulasekara, the Sri Lankan paceman, has decided to call time on his international career with immediate effect.
The announcement, on Wednesday, 24 July, two days after this 37th birthday, means Kulasekara will end as the third-highest ODI wicket-taker for Sri Lanka among pacemen and fifth-highest overall on the Sri Lankan charts.
Kulasekara made his ODI debut in 2003 against England, and went on to play 184 matches till 2017, when he turned out against Zimbabwe in Hambantota. He took 199 ODI scalps at 33.92, registering best figures of 5/22 against Australia in Brisbane in 2013.
He also played 21 Tests, claiming 48 wickets, and took 66 scalps in 58 T20Is, a return that made him the joint second-highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the format, along with Ajantha Mendis – only Lasith Malinga has more.
Kulasekara’s retirement comes a day after Malinga, with whom he developed a strong partnership over most of the last decade, announced his decision to retire from ODIs after the first match against Bangladesh on Friday.
2️⃣6️⃣3️⃣ international matches 👏— ICC (@ICC) July 22, 2019
3️⃣1️⃣3️⃣ wickets 👏
2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣4️⃣ @T20WorldCup winner 👏
Happy birthday, Nuwan Kulasekara! pic.twitter.com/ECyeU4n4iC
Kulasekara was known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, and helped Sri Lanka to the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2011. He starred in their T20 Men’s World Cup 2014 triumph, returning eight wickets in six matches, including an economical 1/29 in the final against India.
Kulasekara was also the top-ranked bowler in the ICC ODI rankings on 11 March 2009, and held that position till 26 September that year.