He played the last of his 43 Tests in January last year, against England
In Tests, Perera took 161 wickets at an average of 35.9, and as a handy lower-order batter, hit eight fifties and averaged 18.88.
It is as Sri Lanka’s second spinner in Rangana Herath’s best years that Perera might be remembered, but perhaps this is somewhat uncharitable. He was largely deployed in favourable conditions, playing 35 of his Tests in Asia, but was nevertheless frequently effective in those conditions, particularly in the first three years of his Test career. He is in fact Sri Lanka’s quickest bowler to 50 Test wickets, achieving the feat in 11 Tests, even if his returns slowed somewhat since then.
His bowling did not impress over the last two years, however, and he was eventually edged out of the Test XI by the likes of Lasith Embuldeniya, and more recently, Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis.
In limited-overs cricket, Perera had actually started as a batter, primarily, opening the innings in his first four games between 2007 and 2008, though without making much of an impact. He was decent with the ball when he returned to the ODI team after 2014, but his lack of agility in the field prompted selectors to look for younger options.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf