Cricket - Sri Lanka's Samaraweera confirms retirement

Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera has confirmed he is quitting international cricket after attempts to persuade him otherwise failed.

Reuters
Cricket - Sri Lanka's Samaraweera confirms retirement
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Sri Lanka's Thilan Samaraweera (Reuters)

He handed a resignation letter to Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday but officials said they would try to talk him round.

"Today I had a meeting with the selectors at Sri Lanka Cricket and they said that they wanted to go with two (other) experienced batsmen for both the Bangladesh and Zimbabwe series," Samaraweera, 36, said.

"The selectors clearly mentioned that I would definitely get a chance to play against Pakistan in December this year. That's a long time and I can't wait that long, so I came up with the decision to retire."

Sri Lanka were due to face South Africa in July and August but the board opted to postpone the test series until 2015 in order to accommodate a one-day tri-series featuring West Indies and India.

"I may not have retired so early if the test series against West Indies and South Africa had not been postponed because as a cricketer you'd always want to play against the number one team which is South Africa at the moment," Samaraweera added.

The right-hand middle-order batsman said he was disappointed at not being picked for the Test series against Bangladesh starting at Galle on Friday after being included in the initial squad of 20 as a replacement for the injured Mahela Jayawardene.

"I never wanted a farewell match because if you're not good enough to be in the 15-man squad, there's nowhere in the world you can play in the first XI," said Samaraweera, who started his international career as an off-spinner.

"I didn't want to be selfish and deprive a youngster of his place by requesting to play in a farewell Test."

Samaraweera represented Sri Lanka in 81 Tests and scored 5,462 runs at an average of 48.76 with 14 hundreds. He also played in 53 one-day internationals.

Samaraweera will leave for England next week to represent English county side Worcestershire during the 2013 season.

"I will take a decision at the end of the English season whether to retire from first-class cricket," he added.

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