As Derbyshire prepare for the arrival of Sri-Lanka great, Suranga Lakmal, we take a closer look at the seamer’s career so far.
Lakmal, 34, will retire from international cricket in March, upon the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s two-Test series with India, and will finish as the nation’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, behind only Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Chaminda Vaas, with 168 dismissals to his name to date.
The most recent of Lakmal’s four five-wicket hauls in Test cricket also garnered his best figures, as he claimed 5-47 against the West Indies in March 2021, during a series which saw him pick up 11 wickets across four innings, conceding 236 runs.
He made his international debut in an ODI against India in 2009, the first of 86 List A fixtures for his country, in which time he claimed 109 wickets at an average of 32.42, with his best figures of 4-13 coming against the same opponents in 2017.
Although he was a key member of the Sri Lanka attack for the best part of a decade, his ability to take wickets and keep runs down in the red ball game came to the fore in the last four years. An accurate bowler who can generate big swing in both directions, Lakmal has taken 72 Test wickets at an average of 24.73 since the start of 2018.
With 648 wickets across all formats to his name and five Test matches as Sri Lanka captain, as well as being part of the 2021 Lanka Premier League-winning Jaffna Kings side, Lakmal brings considerable experience and leadership to a developing crop of bowlers, with the likes of Sam Conners, Ben Aitchison, Mikey Cohen and George Scrimshaw sure to benefit from playing alongside him.
In joining Derbyshire, Lakmal reunites with Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, under whom he claimed 29 all formats wickets between 2019 and 2021, as the new coach moulds his squad ahead of his first season in charge of Derbyshire.
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