Sri Lankan batting great Mahela Jayawardene has announced that he will retire from Test cricket later this year.
The 37-year-old former captain, who has 145 Test caps, made his shock announcement in a letter to the chief executive officer of Sri Lanka Cricket, Mr Ashley De Silva.
Jayawardene will continue to represent his country in one-day internationals and will be available for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next winter.
However, he will end his Test career after the series at home to South Africa which starts on Wednesday and a subsequent two-match series against Pakistan next month.
“It was not an easy decision to make, given that it has been a great privilege and honour representing my country during the past 18 years,” said Jayawardene. “But I believe this is the right time.”
Jayawardene, whose most recent Test series was last month's 1-0 victory in England, has made 11,493 runs in 145 Tests at an average of 50.18.
Renowned for his elegant batting style, he has made 33 Test centuries and is joint sixth, alongside fellow Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, on the all-time list of record run-scorers.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara retired from international Twenty20 cricket after helping Sri Lanka to glory at the ICC World Twenty20 earlier this year.