7 Mar 2013

Samaraweera retires from international cricket

10:11 am on 7 March 2013

The Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera has retired from international cricket after selectors dropped him from the opening Test against Bangladesh, which starts in Galle later this week.

A key figure in Sri Lanka's batting line-up for more than a decade, 36-year-old Samaraweera rebuilt his career after being shot in a militant attack on his team bus in Pakistan in 2009.

Samaraweera says he's shocked by his omission, adding he had been told by the selectors that they may need him for the tour of Pakistan later this year.

Samaraweera will, however, play for Worcestershire in English county cricket this year.

He compiled 5462 runs in 81 tests at an average of 48.76 with 14 centuries.

He also played 53 one-day internationals, scoring 862 runs at 27.80 with two hundreds.

Samaraweera was hit by a bullet in the left thigh when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus on its way to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore for a test match. The attack left eight people dead.

It was a tribute to his mental toughness that he returned to test cricket in July the same year after undergoing surgery.

Samaraweera scored an unbeaten century on test debut against India in Colombo in 2001. His hundred in Durban in 2011 helped Sri Lanka win their maiden test in South Africa.

His form dipped on the recent tour of Australia, where he managed just 79 runs in six test innings.