Colombo: Sri Lanka's leading run-getter, Aravinda de Silva, retired from Test cricket on Thursday but said he was available to play One-dayers until next year's World Cup. The 36-year-old, Sri Lanka's most successful batsman in both Test and One-day cricket, told chairman of selectors Guy de Alwis he should not be considered for the coming Test series in South Africa, officials said.
"Aravinda has bowed out of Tests but wants to keep playing One-day Internationals till the World Cup," an official of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board said. De Silva scored 6,361 runs from 93 Tests at an average of 42.97. He hit 20 hundreds, including a double century against Bangladesh in his last Test innings here in July.
The hero of Sri Lanka's World Cup triumph in 1996, the stylish stroke-player was the world's third-highest scorer in One-day Internationals with 8,803 runs from 288 matches. Only Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar (11,544 runs) and Mohammad Azharuddin (9,387) scored more runs than de Silva in the shorter version of the game. De Silva is currently in England to play a charity indoor match for the Rest of the World against England.
Sidelined by the selectors for 18 months, de Silva returned for the recent tour of England 12 kilograms lighter and helped Sri Lanka reach the final of the just- concluded Champions Trophy at home. De Silva is expected to be picked for a One-day series in Australia in December and the World Cup to be played in South Africa in February-March next year.