Sri Lanka was on the brink of qualifying for the WTC finale only if they could have got the better of the Kiwis in the two-match Test series. It would have been a historic move after their last shy at glory coming in the Asia cup in 2022. However, from being stationed on the cusp of history, they were being pushed into the deepest depths of despair as they suffered a 2-0 whitewash at the hands of New Zealand.
After losing out to New Zealand and with Ireland being the next contender to be up against Sri Lanka, their current Test skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne wants to call it a day as a skipper for the Lankan side in the longest format of the game. He will be turning 35 in April and wants to hand over the captaincy of the national team to someone better who can get the wheels rolling in a better direction.
Here is what Dimuth Karunaratne had to say about his Sri Lankan captaincy
Karunaratne said, “I’ve talked with the selectors about stepping down as captain after the Ireland series. In the next WTC cycle, you’ve got to do two years. I think it’s best if a new captain does that whole cycle than for me to do half and hand over. I’ve talked to the selectors about this, but I haven’t got a response yet. My preference is to hand over to a new leader after the next series.”
Karunaratne took over the reins of the side when the team needed a strong hand to hold over the reins after it all went south. He led the side to a remarkable 2-0 win in South Africa in 2019, his first series as the Lankan skipper. No team barring Australia and England has managed to get the better of the Proteas in their den. India did get off to a roaring start in 2022 but after the first Test, it went all haywire for KL Rahul and company.
A glimpse at Dimuth Karunaratne’s records as a Test captain
As far as his records as a captain go, he has secured 10 wins, 10 losses and managed to secure 6 draws. The other Lankan captains who have got better records than Karunaratne include the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Arjuna Ranatunga, Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews.
Karunaratne further added, “I played Tests after eight months. I only got to play one innings in a four-day match in between. I’m someone who gets a big one after getting a start, so I think I don’t have that patience at the moment, and I need to go back to domestic cricket and develop that again.”
He continued, “After eight months, although I made some runs here, I could have done more, I think. Twice, I think I could have turned half-centuries into hundreds, and I wasted them.”
Sri Lanka is still in the midst of chaos as they try and battle out the uncertainties that has somehow kept them chained to mediocrity, a fact that they can turn around only if they get the safest pair of hands leading them into war.