By Amindha de Alwis
Sri Lanka fast-bowler Dhammika Prasad who announced his retirement from the international arena on Thursday said that he was proud of his achievements in the sport and has no regrets when looking back at his Sri Lanka career.
“I started from 2006 and played till 2016 (Prasad travelled on the 2016 tour of England but had to return home after an injury in a pre-series tour match). Following my injury, I did not play for two years. I did three surgeries but came back very strong. I was about to give up but tried to make a comeback for my daughter.”
“I performed well domestically for SSC (after returning) and the selectors asked me to prove my fitness and all. I was able to do so and still wanted to win games for my country, but it was not to be,” Prasad said.
The right-arm quick was unfortunate to be on the receiving end of a spate of injuries right throughout his career but stated that he never saw himself as unlucky and acknowledges that it is a part of the game.
“Injuries – that is the nature of the game. Fast bowlers are always at a risk of injury and you have to face the reality. Everything does not go your way and that is something I accept.Injuries are a part of the game and I never thought of myself as unlucky,” he stressed.
Prasad told the Daily Mirror that his two fondest memories of playing for his country were his ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2006 where he dismissed Shahriar Nafees and Aftab Ahmed off consecutive balls in his very first over and his Test debut versus India in 2008 at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo.
“Obviously my first game against Bangladesh was memorable as I took two wickets in a row in my very first over. Also, my first Test match against India. Sehwag had scored 200 in the previous match and I got him in both innings in that game,” Prasad reminisced.
Prasad said that he intends to turn out for the SSC, his long-time First-class side, for one more season before moving to a different club with the intention of imparting his knowledge on players coming through the ranks.
“I will play at SSC for this year only. It is a great club and it is the sort of club for players who are trying to make their way into the Sri Lanka side. I am going to play domestic cricket for another few years and will join a lower level club to help young players grow.”
“I did a Level 3 qualification (cricket coaching) with Rangana Herath recently and will continue involving with the game. If anyone needs my help, I am always there to help them along,” he said.