In a dramatic development, just days after announcing his retirement from international cricket, Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa has gone back on his decision and withdrew the letter of retirement he gave to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.
The left-handed batter had cited family obligations as reasons for his decision to call time on his international career prematurely, which raised many eyebrows given that it came out of the blue.
“I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations,” Rajapaksa’s letter to the board read.
Many felt that Rajapaksa’s decision to retire from cricket was fueled by the new strict guidelines of fitness being levied by the Sri Lanka board.
The 30-year-old had become a regular in the Sri Lanka setup before his public criticism of the board and differences with head coach Mickey Arthur following his omission from the team ran him into controversy. He was also slapped with a US$ 5000 fine before gradually making his way into the national team again.
Legendary Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga had requested Rajapaksa to reconsider his decision to retire from 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,” Malinga wrote on his Twitter account.
Representing your country at 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 (@ninety9sl) January 5, 2022
Welcome Back Bhanuka Rajapaksa- Roshan Abeysinghe On Cricketer’s Decision To Withdraw Retirement
On January 13, renowned cricket administrator Roshan Abeysinghe took to his Twitter account to inform the withdrawal of Rajapaksa’s letter submitted to the board.
“Great news! Welcome back @BhanukaRajapak3 Cricketer Bhanuka Rajapakshe withdraws his resignation letter handed over to Sri Lanka Cricket – SLC” it read.
Great news! Welcome back @BhanukaRajapak3
Cricketer Bhanuka Rajapakshe withdraws his resignation letter handed over to Sri Lanka Cricket – SLC-
— Roshan Abeysinghe (@RoshanCricket) January 13, 2022
Rajapaksa had made his Sri Lanka debut in a T20I n 2019 in Lahore against Pakistan, has so far played 18 matches for 320 runs at an average of 26.66. He debuted in the 50-over format in 2021 in Colombo against India and tallies 80 runs at 17.80 in five games.
He also recently captained the Galle Gladiators to runners-up finish in the second edition of the Lanka Premier League, where the Gladiators went down by 23 runs against the Thisara Perera-led Jaffna Kings.