Suranga Lakmal, 34, the legendary Sri Lankan fast bowler, is retiring after the Indian tour. Yet, Lakmal won’t be going away from the court. He has signed a two-year contract with the Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Lakmal will still play a few games before hanging the bat, yet nostalgia is already irresistible. So, let’s have a look at Sura’s career highlights.
During his time, Lakmal quickly became a fan favourite both on and off the pitch. Over the years his skills and talents have seen him grace the stats of various bookies, with many players using their betting offers and placing their odds on him. Fans now have to live with memories and watch the legend in one of the cricket-based TV shows on air.
A quick check on Lakmal’s latest result wouldn’t betray his age. The fast bowler had a smashing season last year. Against the West Indies, Sura unleashed six maidens, six overs, two wickets, and no runs at all. The man really looked like he was at the top of his game. Now, Sura is expected to teach his magic to the next generations. Mickey Arthur is very excited about Sura’s arrival in the club, as he can help with ‘the young quicks.’
Sura has attracted the attention of coaches and spotters since his student years at Debarawewa Central. Although he still lacked stamina, the right-arm bowler showed a natural talent for swinging and bouncing. Like many bowlers from outside the capital, Lakmal lacked the necessary nutrition to withstand long spells.
Sura premiered in the sport professionally as a replacement for an injured player back in 2009. In his first game, he scored eight overs in 58 runs. A stream of jaw-dropping performances quickly put Sura in evidence on a national level. Soon, Lakmal was playing for the national side in international competitions.
There’s no questioning whether Sura is a top player or not. He does have some impressive marks, yet consistency is his trademark. He never earned nearly as much as Virat Kohli, India’s best-paid cricketer. Vaas and Lasith Malinga preceded Suranga in his position, both reaching record-breaking results in their times.
Yet, Lakmal showed us the power of consistency, of getting a little better every day.
He would make slight adjustments to his playing at every game to make the best of the courts and opponents. The beginning of his career was somewhat slow, despite promises. Yet, Sura kept improving his results at every turn.
In 2018, Sura (and cricket fans) began to reap the benefits of his solid efforts. In a series of demolishing results against South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, the right-arm bowler showed his talent with magnificence. Lakmal has 168 in his career, plus 68 Tests and several important victories for his national team.
Derbyshire, the English county club, is Sura’s next home. He’ll be working as a coach, along with Mickey Arthur. Arthur and Lakmal had worked together before when Arthur was Sri Lanka’s head coach. The club and the legend have signed a two-year contract.
Respect and admiration go both ways between them. According to Arthur, Suranga’s among the greatest players Sri Lanka has ever had and would set a fantastic example for youngsters in the team. Besides, he has a lot of knowledge and experience to pass on to the next generations.
Lakmal couldn’t be more excited, as county cricket has been on his plans for a while. Such an opportunity looks even more exciting for him because Sri Lanka’s former coach will be there, too. According to him, he couldn’t turn down a new chance to work with Mickey Arthur.
Suranga Lakmal has already written his name in the sport’s history books. Also, he’s an excellent example for younger players anywhere. After all, he embodies the results of hard work and discipline, allied to talent.