Sri Lanka great Rangana Herath will retire after the first Test in Galle. The most-successful left-arm bowler in Test history has informed the selectors of his decision.
Galle, which will host the last-ever Test match at the venue, is where Herath made his debut in 1999 and needs just one more wicket to claim 100 wickets at the ground. Only Muttiah Muralitharan has achieved the mark before him.
The 40-year-old has not played a complete three-Test series since January 2017. Herath has had to manage knee injuries for several years now; the strain of carrying Sri Lanka's spin attack since the retirement of Muralitharan is understood to have caught up to him.
His retirement will leave a substantial hole in the Sri Lanka side, with offspinner Dilruwan Perera likeliest to replace him as leader of the spin attack, for the remainder of the England series at least.
Sri Lanka also have three other spinners in the squad: all-sorts offspinner Akila Dananjaya, left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan, and left-arm orthodox bowler Malinda Pushpakumara. Of the remaining spinners only Dilruwan has played more than 10 Tests, however.
If Hearth (430 wickets) takes five wickets in his final Test, he could move up to seventh on the all-time list, passing Richard Hadlee (431 wickets), Stuart Broad (433) and Kapil Dev (434).
Herath is also the last active Test cricketer to have made his debut in the 1990s.
The Galle Test begins on November 6.