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Kulasekara announces international retirement, Malinga to retire from ODIs

Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga during Sri Lanka's ultimately successful 2014 World T20 campaign

Sri Lankan pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara has announced his retirement from international cricket.

Kulasekara, 37, finishes his one-day international career one short of 200 wickets as he calls an end to a career in which he made 263 international appearances across all formats.

The news comes only two days after Kulasekara celebrated his 37th birthday.

The 37-year-old made his ODI debut, the format in which he got 199 of his 313 international wickets, against England in 2003.

His impressive form for Sri Lanka in white-ball cricket saw him become the top-ranked bowler in the ICC ODI rankings during 2009.

The news represents something of a changing of the guard for Sri Lanka as fellow Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga also announced his upcoming retirement from ODIs.

Malinga, 35, is set to retire from the fifty-over format after playing in Sri Lanka’s first one-day international against Bangladesh on July 26.

President of Sri Lanka Cricket Shammi Silva responding to the news of Malinga’s retirement called the pacer an “exceptional player.”

“Lasith Malinga is an exceptional player, who has contributed immensely to the game of Cricket in Sri Lanka,” Silva said.

“His departure from ODI cricket opens up a door for young bowlers to come and emulate what Malinga has done, while playing for the country.”

Meanwhile, Ashley Da Silva the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket reflected on the many brilliant performances Malinga produced for Sri Lanka.

“He is one of the most outstanding players, Sri Lanka has ever produced in its cricketing history,” Ashley Da Silva said.

“His brilliance has brought many victories to Sri Lanka Cricket,’’ said Mr. Ashley De Silva, CEO, Sri Lanka Cricket.”

Lasith Malinga is Sri Lanka’s third-highest ever wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs with 335 wickets in 225 matches.

JOEL KIFFIN / Getty Images

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