Suranga Lakmal, one of Sri Lanka’s prime fast bowlers, called it a day to his career following Sri Lanka’s two test matches against India making his final appearance in the second test at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore which concluded on March 14.
It was not the happiest send offs Sri Lanka having lost the test by 238 runs with India coasting to an overall 2-nil triumph. But Lakmal, a product discovered from Matara by Sri Lanka’s talent scouts, will be remembered as one of the country’s modern day fast bowlers who made an impact in a transition rebuilding phase of the national team following the void created by the retirement of several longtime players. He broke into the international firmament first representing Sri Lanka in an ODI versus India in 2009 followed by making his test debut the following year against the West Indies. Making his T20 debut versus England in 2011, Lakmal went on to be a member of the world cup winning team in 2014.
The strongpoint of this product from Debarawewa was the resolve Lakmal put into the game helped by his ability to generate swing and bounce helped by his best illustrated by the right arm paceman’s 171 test wickets from 70 matches which is quite a pleasing ending at an average of 36.44. Of his four 5-wicket hauls three of those were against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand with a best haul of 5 for 47 and match haul of 7 for 80. He rose to become the vice-captain of the test team and went on to captain the side on four occasions.
Ranasinghe Arachchige Suranga Lakmal, born 10 March 1987, was truly a lion heart as the descriptive pride of the nation ‘Sri Lankan lions’ slogan catch phrase goes. His unrelenting approach to the game when it came to giving his 100 per cent was also reflected by the team man that he was with the bat as a late order batsman during crisis times. He scored 934 runs from 109 innings with a highest of 42. He took 109 ODI wickets in 86 appearances averaging 32.42 with a best haul of 4 for 13 while he appeared in 11 T20I games taking 8 wickets.