Sri Lanka cricketer shot in Lahore terror attack announces international retirement
Tharanga Paranavitana had a torrid start not just in his cricket career but also in his life. Paranavitana made his debut against Pakistan in the 2009 series in Karachi. In his first innings, he was dismissed for 0. Later, on a pitch where teams scored over 600 and 700, he managed scores of just 0,9. During the Lahore Test, he failed again but he was fighting for his life when he was shot by terrorists on March 1, 2009 when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked. Paranavitana sustained minor injuries but the attack forced the team to come back home and international cricket was suspended in Pakistan for some time.
However, since that attack, Paranavitana made some decent contributions for Sri Lanka cricket and at the age of 38, he has announced his retirement from international cricket. Paranavitana last played for Sri Lanka in 2012 against New Zealand.
Paranavitana has 14,940 runs in domestic cricket in Sri Lanka and it is the most by any player. He has 69 fifties and 40 centuries at an average of over 45. However, in international cricket, he achieved limited success. Paranavitana made two centuries against India in the 2010 series in what Muttiah Muralitharan’s farewell series. He had fifties in Lord’s against England and he also did well against the West Indies at home in 2011. His away average of 26 while opening the batting did not help Sri Lanka much.
However, Paranavitana’s story is full of guts as he emerged stronger following the terror attack in Lahore. He showed solidity on occasions but unfortunately, he lacked consistency. His best year was 2010 where he averaged 54 with the two centuries against India.