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Rangana Herath retires from limited-overs cricket to prolong Test career

Colombo: Sri Lankan left-arm off spinner Rangana Herath on Sunday announced his retirement from limited-overs cricket in order to focus on his Test career. 

The 38-year-old veteran cricketer said he informed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) about his decision to bid adieu from the ODI and T20 formats last week, and the Board has accepted it.

Rangana HerathSri Lanka's Rangana Herath (R) bowls in the nets during a training session on the eve of the World T20 match between England and Sri Lanka at The Feroz Shah Kotla cricket ground in New Delhi, on March 25, 2016. Pic/AFP

"In the next eight months or so, we're scheduled to play something like 12 Test matches. I think retiring from the shorter formats is the right move, because that will allow young players to be groomed for the next World Cup in 2019, as well as lowering my workload and letting me concentrate on Tests," said Herath.

The bowler, who suffered from knee injuries in recent years, was mainly picked for limited-overs cricket at the major tournaments. 

Herath played a key role in Sri Lanka's triumphant run at 2014 World T20, where he took five for three, arguably the best-ever T20 bowling performance, in a virtual quarter-final match against New Zealand.

Overall, the spinner has taken 18 T20 International wickets from 17 matches, while claiming 74 wickets in 71 ODIs, conceding 2,362 runs. 

"Every cricketer has to stop at the right time," Herath said in a statement, issued through SLC.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a three-Test series in England in May and June, for which the preparation will begin tomorrow.

SLC wished Herath the very best for his Test career. 

"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes Mr. Herath nothing but the best as he continues to play cricket in his chosen discipline, and in all future endeavours," a Board release said.

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