Sri Lanka v South Africa Test - Men's

SL great Herath set to retire this year

Sri Lankan spinner says series against England this year will be his last

Cricket Network

11 July 2018, 02:55 PM AEST

Spin legend Rangana Herath has indicated he will retire later this year following Sri Lanka's Test series against England.

The 40-year-old spinner is set to return to Tests this week in the series against South Africa before Sri Lanka host England for three Tests in November.

2017: Herath hands SL win with record-breaking haul

"Maybe my final series will be the England series later in the year," he told BBC Sinhala.

"Following this South Africa series, there is another three months until the England series. For now, this is what I've planned for.

"There comes a time for every cricketer, when they have to stop playing. I think that time has come for me."

The most prolific left-arm bowler in Test history with 418 wickets, Herath remains the only current cricketer who played in the 20th century; he made his Test debut against Australia in September 1999.

Watch all of Herath's 28 wickets v Australia

Herath retired from white-ball cricket in 2016 but has continued to be a lynchpin in the Test arena and he's taken 121 wickets at 24 since he became a Test-only player.

The fact Herath is Test cricket's 11th most prolific bowler and fourth among spinners is remarkable considering he spent most of career in the shadow of Muthiah Muralidaran, whose status as the frontline spinner limited Herath's chances in the Test team. Sixty-eight of Herath's 90 Tests matches, and 347 of his 418 wickets, have come since Muralidaran's retirement in 2010.

"I'm really glad I've been able to play as long as I have," Herath said.

"But the most important thing is that of those 18 years, I wasn't able to play for Sri Lanka for about seven of those years. I'm proud of what I was able to do in those seven years - the training I did, and the desire I had, especially."

Herath has been named in Sri Lanka's squad for the two-Test series against South Africa, starting on Thursday, having split the webbing on his bowling hand during the recent tour of the West Indies.