This is the right time - Herath ready for retirement

Rangana Herath was keen to depart international cricket at "the right time" as he prepares to face England with Sri Lanka.

Retiring Sri Lanka star Rangana Herath   -  Getty Images

Sri Lanka great Rangana Herath is confident that he has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket and aims to go out on a high against England.

Herath called time on his white-ball career in 2016, but continued to play the longest format, with the first Test in Galle this week set to be his last.

The 40-year-old is 10th on the all-time wicket-takers list and could move further up the standings in his final appearance, where he is ready for an emotional farewell.

READ: Sri Lanka eyes redemption in Tests on Herath's swansong

"When you are ending your career, it is not an easy decision to take," Herath told a news conference on Monday.

"You need to take the decision at the right time and I decided this is high time, the right time to stop playing international cricket."

"Of course [it will be emotional] - I played international cricket from 1999, before that I played school cricket and junior level cricket. When you retire from cricket, that you love, of course it's a sad moment."

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Alastair Cook ended his England career in their last Test, bowing out with a century, and Herath is looking for a similarly happy ending.

"When you are playing against any country, when they lose a player like Alastair Cook - with that experience, his records - it's going to be a help for us in this series," he said. Asked if that would mean a flurry of wickets this week, Herath replied: "As always."

Sri Lanka has announced that paceman Lahiru Kumara has been removed from its 16-man squad for the England series due to a breach of the team's code of conduct, with Dushmantha Chameera taking his place.