Sri Lanka allrounder Eshani Lokusuriyage retires at 37

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Sri Lanka allrounder Eshani Lokusuriyage retires at 37
© ICC/Getty Eshani Lokusuriyage – ‘I was able to achieve those things because I had a good coach, a good captain, and good team-mates. I’m really thankful to all of them’ © ICC/Getty

Allrounder Eshani Lokusuriyage, who was instrumental in perhaps Sri Lanka’s greatest ODI win ever, has retired from international cricket, aged 37. In a video on Facebook, she said a leg injury had prompted her to make that decision.

“I’ve decided to retire from international cricket,” Lokusuriyage said. “However, I will continue to play for my club side – Navy. I want to take this opportunity to thank the fans who’ve been with me since 2013. Please continue to support me, because I’ll still be a club cricketer.”

A right-handed batter, and right-arm seamer, who made her international debut in 2005, Lokusuriyage played 89 ODIs and 68 T20 internationals. It is for her heroics during the 2013 World ODI Cup, however, for which she will be most fondly remembered. Having taken 2 wickets for 49 against England after opening the bowling, Lokusuriyage thumped 56 off 41 to revive a flagging Sri Lanka chase (their target was 239), and delivered the team to the cusp of a thrilling one-wicket victory.

Having won the player of the match in one of the World Cup’s biggest upsets, Lokusuriyage also starred in a victory against India days later, when she struck 56 not out off 31 and took a wicket.

“It was in 2013 that people around the world got to know who Eshani Lokusiriya is,” she said. “I was able to achieve those things because I had a good coach, a good captain, and good team-mates. I’m really thankful to all of them. I’m so grateful for all the fans, and I ask them to continue supporting women’s cricket.”

All up, she struck five fifties in ODIs, with a highest score of 65, and took 49 wickets in the format. She also has 36 wickets in T20 internationals. She last played for Sri Lanka in 2018. There have been no internationals for Sri Lanka’s women’s side since early 2020 for Lokusuriyage to be eligible for.

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