Thisara Perera, 32, has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), confirmed in a media release on 3 May. He had been an integral part of his country for more than a decade in limited-overs cricket.
Thisara led Sri Lanka both in ODIs and T20Is. Despite having the quality to bowl at express pace, he was primarily known for his destructive ball-hitting skill. Among those with 2,000 ODI runs, his strike rate (112.08) is the fourth-highest of all time, behind Glenn Maxwell (125.43), Jos Buttler (118.66) and Shahid Afridi (117).
Since making the debut in 2009, Perera had donned the Sri Lanka jersey in ODIs 166 times. He scored 2,338 runs and also picked up 175 wickets. His career-best bowling figure 6-44 came against Pakistan, while his highest score, 140, was against New Zealand.
From 84 T20Is, Thisara scored 1,204 runs at a strike rate of 151.63 (fourth-best in history with a 1,000-run cut-off, after Maxwell, Colin Munro, and Aaron Finch), and claimed 51 wickets while go for 9.34 an over. He is one of seven cricketers in history to do the 1,000 run-50 wicket double in T20Is.
Against India at Ranchi in 2015/16, Thisara became only the fourth cricketer in history to do the hat-trick in T20Is. This came four years after his ODI hat-trick, against Australia in Melbourne. Apart from Brett Lee and Lasith Malinga, Thisara is the only cricketer to do the hat-trick in both ODIs and T20Is.
He also played six Test matches without much success, scoring 203 runs and picking up 11 wickets.
Thisara thanked each of the captains under whom he had represented Sri Lanka. He mentioned that he took the decision to pave the way for youngsters. ‘I take pride in the fact that I was able to represent Sri Lanka in seven cricket World Cups and be a contributing member of the 2014 T20 World Cup win against India in Bangladesh,’ he told SLC in a letter.
However, he has confirmed he will continue playing domestic cricket. He is currently leading Jaffna Stallions in the Lanka Premier League (LPL).
The SLC wished him good luck for future endeavours. He played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup-winning campaign in 2014 against India. Coming at a mere 131-run chase, he remained unbeaten on 23 (off 14 balls) to take the glory to their tent.
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