Sri Lanka mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis ends his cricket career

The 34-year-old, who unleashed the carrom ball on the cricket world in 2008 and later became the fastest to reach 50 ODI wickets, suffered from recurring back injuries and last played for Sri Lanka in 2015.

Ajantha Mendis

Ajantha Mendis has retired from professional cricket, according to media reports.

The spinner and Sri Lanka Cricket are yet to officially announce the mystery spinner’s retirement.

The 34-year-old last played for Sri Lanka in an ODI in 2015 and has been playing in Sri Lanka’s Premier Tier-B tournament.

Reports of Mendis’s retirement hit the headlines on Wednesday, which was followed by a tweet from Angelo Mathews wishing the spinner.

Angelo Mathews on Twitter

Congratulations menda on a short but great career.Unfortunately injuries kept u away but god is kind and will open plenty of avenues to you. Stay blessed brotha

Mendis reached 50 ODI wickets in just 19 games, becoming the fastest bowler to reach the landmark, and had a memorable debut Test series.

In 2008, Mendis took 26 wickets at an average of 18.38 against a formidable Indian batting line up to claim Alec Bedser’s record for most wickets by a debutant in a three-Test series.

Ajantha Mendis 6/13 vs India Asia Cup 2008 Final

Watch Ajantha Mendis 6-13 in Asia Cup Final vs India during the India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2008 final at Karachi Ajantha Mendis 6 wickets vs India are the best bowling figures in Asia Cup history Ajantha Mendis 6-13 Asia Cup 2008 Final got Indian cricket team all out for 173, giving Sri Lanka a huge victory by 100 runs.

At the Asia Cup earlier that year, he decimated India with 6-13 to help Sri Lanka clinch the final.

Mendis played 19 Test matches and took 70 wickets, including one 10-wicket haul and four five-wicket hauls.

He has 152 ODI wickets in 87 matches and 66 T20 scalps from 39 games.

Mendis’s 6-8 vs Zimbabwe in Hambantota in 2012 remains the best bowling figures in T20I cricket.

When Mendis first broke onto the scene there were comparisons made of him with the great Muttiah Muralitharan but the spinner’s carrom ball and other variations became less threatening at the international level and batsmen began scoring more freely off the bowler.

“He is another sensation,” former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said in 2008 of Mendis. “Like Murali, he is another — as much as I am not comfortable with the word — freak bowler. He is a freak.”

© Island Cricket

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