Wanindu Hasaranga has been named in the Sri Lanka squad to face Bangladesh in an upcoming two-Test series, confirming the leg-spinning all-rounder’s retirement u-turn in the format.

The 26-year-old called time on his career in the longest format in August 2023 in order to prioritise white-ball cricket. The slow bowler had been a regular fixture in Sri Lanka Test squads, but had been limited to just four appearances in whites. He is one of the most sought-after T20 players in the world, regularly appearing in the IPL and in other franchise competitions.

“We will accept his decision and are confident that Hasaranga will be a vital part of our white-ball program going forward,” Ashley De Silva, CEO of SLC, said at the time.

Hasaranga has now reversed his decision, having been named in Sri Lanka’s squad to face Bangladesh. The release confirming his inclusion makes no mention of his retirement u-turn or the reasons behind it. Hasaranga is also yet to comment publicly on the matter. In between Hasaranga’s retirement and his return, Sri Lanka played one Test match, beating Afghanistan by ten wickets in February 2024.

The move comes after a tumultuous few months for both Sri Lankan cricket and Hasaranga himself. Sri Lanka Cricket were until recently suspended by the ICC for political interference in the country, while Hasaranga also received a two-match ban for dissent against an umpire’s decision. On the field, Sri Lanka have been involved in a heated rivalry with Bangladesh, with references made by both sides to the timed out controversy that took place in the 2023 World Cup. In the ODI series that concluded on March 18, Hasaranga was on the receiving end of an onslaught from Rishad Hossain, a 21-year-old batting at No.8 with little batting pedigree.

In four Tests before his retirement, Hasaranga claimed four wickets and averaged more than 100 with the ball. With the bat he averaged 28, making a high score of 59.