It's been a privilege and an honour, says retiring Herath

By Sports Desk November 09, 2018

Rangana Herath reflected on the "privilege and honour" of representing Sri Lanka following his final Test appearance.

The 40-year-old left-arm spinner was unable to enjoy a dream send-off as his side were thumped by 211 runs in the first Test against England in Galle.

Herath was run out to bring the contest to an end on day four, but he was still able to look back with immense pride on a five-day career that yielded 433 wickets - the eighth-highest figure in Tests.

"In this scenario, it's a bit of an emotional situation. But everybody has to take a decision at the right time," Herath told Sky Sports shortly after leaving the field to a warm ovation.

"I'm thankful for all those years that I have played, those people who have been behind me, especially the team-mates, Sri Lanka Cricket, all the people. I must thank every single person behind me.

"It's been a privilege and an honour to play for my country. In Sri Lanka, we have 22 million people. Very few people get the opportunity to play for Sri Lanka, so it's a remarkable achievement for any player.

"Of course, I'm so proud playing for Sri Lanka, especially in this team. Cricket has given me a lot, I have a lot of respect for the game."

Although Sri Lanka were well beaten in Galle, Herath - who intends to play on in first-class cricket - spoke with optimism about the team's future.

"Of course, as always, losing is not a good result for any team, but this is part of the game," he added. "We didn't play the cricket we used to play. Hopefully the guys will come back strongly for the second and third [Tests].

"I'm 100 per cent confident in the talent we have. If you take the recent past against South Africa, against Australia, we have had a very good winning mindset. We need to get that back. I'm sure the guys will do."

Related items

  • Root pleased to practice what he preached Root pleased to practice what he preached

    England captain Joe Root is satisfied with the way both his words and actions inspired England to victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

    A 57-run victory in Pallekele secured the series win for England - a first away from home since January 2016 and a first in Sri Lanka since 2001.

    Root had challenged his players to be bold in the second of three Tests and his own 124 in the second innings made a significant contribution to the victory, earning him the Man of the Match award.

    "I'm really pleased to back up everything I've spoken about and the way that I did it," Root told Sky Sports.

    "It's nice to make a big contribution but the thing that sits well with me is the manner in which I did it. I asked the guys to play a certain way, and I went out and backed it up myself."

    England returned on day five needing only three wickets to make sure of the win and they cleaned up the Sri Lankan tail in just 31 minutes.

    "We were pretty confident," Root continued. "We knew we'd be able to create three chances on that surface, but we also recognised that when partnerships developed it became quite difficult.

    "We tried to stay as calm as possible, trust all the plans we had, and follow through on that, and thankfully it paid off."

    Root believes the performance demonstrates a tremendous strength in depth in England at the moment.

    "Look at the guys we've got on the sidelines," he added. "We've got some very exciting young players and a lot of experience, and for Stuart Broad [and Jonny Bairstow] to have no played a part in this series shows the strength of the squad, and the adaptability as well.

    "Around the world we could have played a very different side with a similar well-balanced look to it.

    "It's nice to be in a position where all 17 guys could walk into the team and it wouldn't look any less balanced, or out of place in these conditions."

  • In a spin: England's win against Sri Lanka sets new record In a spin: England's win against Sri Lanka sets new record

    England clinched their first away series victory since January 2016 with a 57-run win against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Sunday, but the second Test was also notable for its record-breaking bowling stats.

    The match - which also sealed England's first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001 - saw 38 of the 40 wickets taken by spin bowlers, setting a new marker in Test cricket.

    Akila Dananjaya and Jack Leach took eight wickets apiece, while Dilruwan Perera was one off that pair with seven and Moeen Ali boasted six scalps.

    Malinda Pushpakumara and Adil Rashid each ended the match with four wickets and England captain Joe Root took one.

    Dimuth Karunaratne was run out by Ben Stokes during Sri Lanka's first innings, leaving Suranga Lakmal as the only non-spin bowler to claim a wicket.

    The previous best was 37 in a Test between India and New Zealand in 1969, while India clashes with Australia in 1956 and Pakistan in 1987 featured 35 spin wickets.

    The third and final Test gets under way in Colombo on Friday.

  • England seal series win over Sri Lanka England seal series win over Sri Lanka

    Jack Leach grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests as England sealed a series win over Sri Lanka with a 57-run victory on Sunday.

    Leach (5-83) and Moeen Ali (4-72) made quick work of the final three Sri Lanka wickets on day five of the second Test in Kandy.

    The result gave England a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series and marked their first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001.

    Resuming at 226-7, Sri Lanka still had hope of making the remaining 75 runs for victory.

    But those chances took a huge blow early, Niroshan Dickwella (35) edging Moeen to Ben Stokes at slip.

    Moeen struck again two balls later, a beautiful delivery beating Suranga Lakmal (0) through the gate and crashing into off stump.

    Leach completed his five-for with the final wicket, Malinda Pushpakumara (1) giving the left-arm spinner a return catch as England wrapped up their win.

    The final Test of the series begins in Colombo on Friday.

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

Have the Reggae Boyz begun to show chinks in their Nations League armor? https://t.co/XBMJIbD3xW… https://t.co/K2SLd0SZuT
Congratulations to Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors on historic World Cup qualification! https://t.co/2i80ciPjDF… https://t.co/RV9b2GeNO8
More congratulations for Alia Atkinson in order! https://t.co/7Kbau4dG2f #AliaAtkinson #FINAWorldCup… https://t.co/qfyTA5P7MB
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.