After selectors’ red signal for farewell game, Nuwan Kulasekara retires from international cricket

After selectors’ red signal for farewell game, Nuwan Kulasekara retires from international cricket

He last played for Sri Lanka in July 2017.

Nuwan Kulasekara picture
Nuwan Kulasekara. (Photo Source: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. He had requested the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to arrange a farewell game and the Sports Minister Harin Fernando had even agreed to dedicate the third ODI against Bangladesh to him. But the selectors cleared that they can’t pick a player who hasn’t played domestic cricket at all in recent times.

The Bangladesh series will see Lasith Malinga also bid adieu to the ODI format and the first of the three-match series will be his farewell outing. However, Kulasekara won’t be getting such honour unfortunately despite Fernando claiming that the preparations are being made to give him a sendoff.

“The third and final match of the series will be a massive “tribute” to Nuwan Kulasekara and that the final match will be dedicated to him. Necessary preparations are being made for this. I cannot interfere with the administration and tell them to allow a cricketer to play,” Fernando was quoted as saying by the Sri Lankan media.

2014 World T20 winner Kulasekara

Nuwan Kulasekara was the part of Sri Lanka‘s squad which won the World T20 in 2014 by defeating India. He had bowled a tidy four-over spell going for only 29 runs and accounted for Yuvraj Singh’s wicket in the final. The 37-year-old was not picked in the national team since July 2017 after Sri Lanka lost the five-match series to Zimbabwe.

He also didn’t play domestic cricket since March 2018 and that led to the selectors denying him a farewell game. Overall, during his illustrious career, Nuwan Kulasekara played 184 ODIs, 21 Tests and 58 T20 Internationals for his country picking a total of 313 wickets. He was not so successful in the longer format and had called it quits back in 2016 itself.

But Kulasekara would’ve hoped to play more in the limited-overs format for his country before being sidelined from the team a couple of years ago. Interestingly, he was also the world number 1 ODI bowler back in 2008 but ironically, people remembering him for MS Dhoni hitting a six off his bowling to win India the World Cup in 2011 at the Wankhede.