Derbyshire have signed experienced fast bowler Suranga Lakmal on a two-year contract.
Lakmal, 34, has enjoyed a long international career with Sri Lanka, taking 285 wickets across all formats for his national side, including 168 in Test cricket, the fourth-most in their history.
The right-arm quick will retire from international cricket after Sri Lanka’s two-Test away series against India, starting later this month. He will lead Derbyshire’s developing attack for the next two seasons, with the experienced seamer available for all formats, subject to visa and ECB approvals.
Quick and accurate, with the ability to generate big swing and seam movement, Lakmal established himself as the leader of Sri Lanka’s red ball attack between 2018 and 2021, picking up 72 wickets at an average of 24.73 during that period.
The fast bowler has taken four five-wicket hauls in Test cricket, with his best figures of 5-47 coming against West Indies in March of last year.
While many of Lakmal’s most notable moments have come in the longer formats, his record also boasts plenty of quality in the white ball game, with 235 List A wickets at an average of 28.56, 109 of which were taken in One-Day Internationals for Sri Lanka.
Lakmal also lifted the 2021 Lanka Premier League trophy in Twenty20 cricket and will now link up with new Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, with whom he worked between 2019-2021.
Arthur said: “Suranga is among Sri Lanka’s all-time greats with the ball and it’s brilliant to be able to bring him to Derbyshire for the next two seasons.
“We have big ambitions for the project at Derbyshire, and Suranga’s decision to retire from international cricket and commit to the club shows he’s as excited about those plans as the other players and coaches.
“He knows my standards and can set the example for our young players on and off the field, and to add his quality to our ranks gives us a whole new dimension with the ball.”
Lakmal added: “Experiencing county cricket is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and the chance to work with Mickey again was something I couldn’t turn down.
“I’ve loved every second of my international career, and I would like to thank Sri Lanka for giving me the opportunity to live my dream. Hopefully I can bring that experience into this new challenge, to help the young bowlers, who are already making an impact at Derbyshire.”
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