Karunaratne set to relinquish Captaincy

Dimuth Karunaratne

Sri Lanka’s Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has expressed that he wants to step down from the role following the 2-match Test series against Ireland in April.

Speaking to the media following Sri Lanka’s innings and 58-run loss to New Zealand in Wellington, Karunaratne addressed rumours that he would be stepping down from the captaincy, saying, “I have spoken to the selectors, expressing my wish to step down after the series against Ireland. I haven’t gotten a word from their end yet.”

The left-hander went on to say that he felt it was better for a new Captain to lead the side through the entirety of the next ICC Test Championship cycle, from 2023-25. Karunaratne also may have dropped a hint on a potential retirement during the next Test Championship cycle, saying “The next cycle is 2 years. So, I think it would be good for someone new to take it on right from the beginning instead of me being the captain for half the cycle and then giving it over.”

Karunaratne took on the Test Captaincy from Dinesh Chandimal in February 2019. Sri Lanka have played 26 Tests under him, winning 10, losing 10 and drawing 6. His biggest achievement as skipper will undoubtedly be the 2-0 series win in South Africa; incidentally, this was his first series as Captain.

Sri Lanka are set to play Ireland in a 2-match Test series in April, before commencing the next World Championship cycle with a 2-match series against Pakistan in July.