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Samaraweera calls time on Sri Lanka career
WORCESTERSHIRE won’t lose overseas recruit Thilan Samaraweera to a Sri Lanka call-up during his New Road stint after the 36-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket.
The veteran batsman was named among 23 centrally contracted players by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday - albeit in a ‘special category’ agreement - but wrote to the board the following day to call time on his international career after missing out on final selection for the team’s Test series against Bangladesh.
SLC requested a personal meeting with the player before accepting his retirement but the matter is now closed. Samaraweera had been asked to remain available but has accepted the team must now move on with younger players.
For more than a decade Samaraweera has been an under-rated member of Sri Lanka’s Test middle order, with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene often hogging the headlines.
Despite a below-par 2012 in which he averaged 32.5, Samaraweera boasts an overall figure of 48.76 in his 81 Tests with a best score of 231 versus Pakistan at Karachi four years ago. His 53 one-day internationals were less successful, yielding an average of 27.8 and he did not play a Twenty20 international.
Samaraweera said: “I was shocked with my omission from the squad against Bangladesh. There was no point in waiting for nine months (for the Pakistan series). I respect the decision of the selectors to go with young players and decided it was the right time for me to retire.
"Although I have not lost the power of my passion to make a comeback, my ethics of reasoning does not interest me to do so at this hour where the obvious focus should be to find a balance in the prospects we have for the future.”