Isuru Udana retires from international cricket

A media statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirms that pacer Isuru Udana has announced his international retirement with immediate effect. The 33-year-old has played in 21 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 35 Twenty-20 Internationals (T20Is).

The news came as a shock, as Udana had not only been injury-free for the previous three years, but also had a spot in both Sri Lanka’s limited-overs squads. In the recently finished series against India, he played one ODI and two T20Is, as well as all three T20Is against England in June.

The 33-year-old made his T20 World Cup debut in 2009, taking two wickets against Australia. He was also one of just two Sri Lankans to play in the IPL 2020, representing RCB.

Udana stated that he was stepping aside and making way for the young players to come through. “I believe the time has come for me to make way for the next generation of players. It is with immense pride and passion, and unfathomable commitment that I have represented and served my country,” Udana said in a statement.

The left-arm medium fast bowler was good with the bat also with 237 runs at a strike rate of 95.18 in ODIs and 256 runs at a strike rate of over 137 in T20Is, respectively. After earning a reputation as a white-ball specialist, the pacer was only able to play frequently towards the end of his career. Apart from being a deft player who made good use of his variations, the 33-year-old was also regarded as a hard-hitter further down the order, which helped him land opportunities in T20 tournaments all around the world.

Udana is the second Sri Lankan all-rounder to retire from international cricket in the last three months; Thisara Perera did so in May, citing a lack of opportunities with the national side as a reason.