One of the top players of the Sri Lankan cricket team, one who tormented batsmen with his orthodox bowling, Rangana Herath returns to field almost 2 years after his retirement in the upcoming Road Safety World Series. In an exclusive interview with Republic World on Thursday, the slow left-arm orthodox bowler stated that he was looking forward to the upcoming series and is really excited to make a comeback on field.
Herath, who briefly also captained the Sri Lankan side in Tests, has picked up over 400 wickets in Tests and has 74 ODI wickets under his belt. Herath is also the only left-arm bowler to have 400+ Test wickets surpassing veteran spinner Daniel Vettori.
Speaking to Republic World, Herath reflected upon his comeback and expressed his delight to take the field along the likes Brett Lee, Sachin Tendulkar, Jonty Rhodes and Brian Lara. "I think the concept is really important. 1.5 to 2 million people die in road accidents, so I am sure this is going to be an interesting tournament and a worthwhile tournament for people all over the world," said Herath while expressing how important the series is going to be in order to raise awareness.
The left-arm bowler also highlighted his brief stint as the captain of the Sri Lankan team in the longest format of the game and lauded the current skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, for doing a great job and exuded confidence in Lasith Malinga for leading the T20 side despite a loss against West Indies in the first T20 on Tuesday. Herath picked his debut game against Australia in 1999 and his 14-wicket spell against Pakistan in Colombo as his most memorable spells.
When asked if Muttiah Muralitharan's career cast a shadow on his career, Herath said that he made his debut in 1999 and played in and out of the team as a second spinner and added that when you have Murali in your side, you cannot have another player as the main spinner. "I don't have any regrets but once I have got the opportunity I have performed my best." The left-arm spinner also named Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle amongst the difficult batsmen that he had to bowl to but when asked to choose between Sanath Jayasuriya and Virat Kohli as the best, Herath chose his Sri Lankan teammate.