Sri Lanka cricketer Bhanuka Rajapaksa on Wednesday tendered in his letter of resignation to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), announcing that he wants to end his cricketing association with the board with immediate effect.
In his letter, the 30-year-old reasoned that he had family obligations to cater to due to which he was taking such a big career decision.
"I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations," he wrote in the letter.
Rajapaksa was Sri Lanka's leading scorer in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup and made his T20I debut in 2019 against Pakistan. He played his first ODI against India at home in 2021.
Overall, he donned Sri Lankan colours in as many as five ODIs and 18 T20Is scoring a total of 409 runs across the two formats with the help of two half-centuries. He was also part of Sri Lanka's ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad and ended up as the team's third-highest run-getter with as many as 155 runs in eight games.
Did Rajapaksa retire in view of the new fitness regulations?
Although his letter states otherwise, it is being speculated that Rajapaksa announced retirement in view of the increased fitness standards. He was anxious about the new standards impacting his game. Notably, the skin fold level has been lowered to 70 from 85 by the local cricket administrators and the left-handed batter felt that his power-hitting skills could decline if he matches the required skin fold level to play.
In addition, the inclusion of the 2 km test could also have been a matter of concern for Rajapaksa lately, however, there has been no official statement from him in this regard. Notably, the mandatory criteria for finishing the 2 km run has been reduced to 8.10 minutes than the earlier 8.55.
Amid all this, Sri Lankan cricket legend Lasith Malinga has urged Rajapaksa to reconsider his decision to retire from international cricket.
"Representing your country at the international level is not an easy task and players always face so many challenges. I truly believe that @BhanukaRajapak3 has a lot more to give to Sri Lankan cricket and I request him to reconsider his decision to retire from international cricket" Lasith Malinga reacted on Twitter to Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s sudden retirement call," Mali tweeted.
Earlier Malinga had announced his retirement from all forms of the game in September last year.