Samaraweera believes his decision to retire came at the right time
Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera has announced his retirement from international cricket effective immediately after he was dropped from the national squad for their series against Bangladesh.
Samaraweera was extremely surprised at being left out and wrote a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) informing them about his decision.
“I was shocked with my omission from the squad against Bangladesh,” Samaraweera said. “There was no point in waiting for nine months. I respect the decision of the selectors to go with young players and decided it was the right time for me to retire.”
Samaraweera stated that SLC wanted him to play in the Bangladesh series, perhaps as a final farewell Test, but the batsman declined the offer and felt that his time at the international level had come to an end.
“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,” he said. “I didn’t want to be selfish and deprive a youngster of his place by requesting to play in a farewell Test.”
Samaraweera noted that the thought of retirement had entered his head after noticing the lack of Tests Sri Lanka would be playing this year.
Sri Lanka only have one more Test series this year, which is against lowly-ranked Zimbabwe, but Samaraweera would have likely been rested for that series as well.
The country’s cricket board decided to cancel a Test series against the West Indies in order to allow the players to attend the Indian Premier League (IPL), while a Test series against South Africa was also postponed to 2015.
“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 said.
The Sri Lankan right-hander will also decide whether he will retire from first-class cricket after completing his stint with Worcestershire during the 2013 county season.
“I will take a decision at the end of the English season whether to retire from first-class cricket,” he said.
In a letter to the media, Samaraweera thanked everyone who had supported him throughout his career and stated the reason for his decision 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,” he said.
Ever since he started, Samaraweera always seemed destined to become a Test specialist and made his career in the format, scoring 5,462 runs at a respectable average of 48.76.
Samaraweera was part of the Sri Lankan squad that was ambushed by armed militants during their tour of Pakistan in March 2009.
He was shot in the thigh and doctors later revealed that it had travelled 12 inches up, but after four months of strenuous physical and psychological therapy, he was back in the national team.
Despite receiving a central contract from SLC for the 2013 season, Samaraweera decided to retire since he noticed that the board were looking to build a younger squad.