Lankan cricket faces crisis as another veteran Samaraweera contemplates retirement

Sydney: Sri Lanka cricket might be heading towards crisis in next twelve months as yet another Test veteran Thilan Samaraweera is considering retirement after the Australia series.

Just a week after Mahela Jayawardene announced he would resign as captain after the Australian series, Samaraweera heads into the Boxing Day Test admitting he is contemplating retirement.

A veteran of 79 Tests, Samaraweera has amassed 5439 runs at a world-class 50.36 but says he could pull the pin after Sri Lanka`s two-Test home series against Bangladesh in March.

Dashing opener Tillakaratne Dilshan is another veteran considering walking away, a scenario that could strip Sri Lanka of their three most senior batsmen over the next 12 months.

“I will play these three Test matches in Australia and two in Sri Lanka in February and then I will see (if he plays on),” quoted Samaraweera, as saying.

“After that we don`t have any Test cricket until October or November, I have to play some competitive cricket because at my age your reflexes get slower and you have to keep playing,” he added.

“I have to decide how much longer I can play because we have a long break. It`s very hard to see how many years I can go on,” he said.

Samaraweera, whose career was nearly ended after he was shot in the Lahore terrorist attack in 2009, admits the scrutiny on older players intensifies with every passing year.

“It`s not so much those you lose your reflexes completely, but at a certain age people expect you to perform every game,” Samaraweera said.

“If you are a youngster you can fail in two or three series, but as you get older into your 30s you have to score runs or the pressure comes and the media focus on you,” he added.