The International Cricket Council (ICC) the world governing body for Cricket, announced that Roshan Mahanama will step down from the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees (MR) at the end of 2015, citing personal reasons.
The final assignment given by the ICC to Roshan was the closely contested 3-Test series between hosts Australia and New Zealand, concluded with the historical 1st Day-Night Test played at the Adelaide Oval.
At the conclusion of the Test series the post-match presentation was made by former Australian skipper Mark Taylor. It was a terrific gesture and moment when, at the beginning of the presentation, Taylor requested Roshan Mahanama to come forward to collect a ‘memento’, as a gesture for services rendered to the game of Cricket as a MR. This was bewildering to all the fans as well as to Roshan himself. Cricket Australia, in fact, saluted Roshan Mahanama, which he abundantly warranted.
Roshan, who was then 49-years-old, had joined the Elite Panel in 2004 and refereed in 61 Tests, 222 ODIs and 35 T20s to date, including refereeing in 3 ICC Cricket World Cup matches in 2007, 2011 and 2015, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2009. He had opted to step down 6 months ahead of the expiry of his contract, to spend more time with his family and more attention to his business commitments in Sri Lanka. He had been involved with cricket for almost 4 decades as a Junior Cricketer, Schoolboy Cricketer, Club, Test Cricketer, Coach and finally as an ICC MR. Roshan commented that this had been a difficult decision, due to his devotion to Cricket, which has been an important element in his life.
He added, in life, an instance arrives when one has to keep moving forward based on obligations and priorities. His moment had come to focus on his family, who made huge sacrifices over the years to enable him pursue his livelihood for over 3 decades.
The route was approximately 12 years as an ICC MR. He has had the privilege and pleasure of being involved with some brilliant professionals, refereed at some historical matches and visited some incredible places during his tenure.
Roshan expressed his gratitude to the ICC and Sri Lanka Cricket for affording him the opportunity to be involved in almost 600 internationals of the game as a player and MR.
As a cricketer, Roshan had represented Sri Lanka in 52 Tests and 213 ODIs from 1986 to 1999. He played in 4 ICC Cricket World Cups and was a Member of the Sri Lanka side that triumphed over Australia in the 1996 final in Lahore. He also captained Sri Lanka in 2 ODIs.
The most memorable performance in his Test career was the 2nd wicket world record partnership he was involved with another legend Sanath Jayasuriya, of 576 runs for Sri Lanka against India at the RPS in August 1997, breaking the world record of 467 runs for any wicket held until then by AH Jones and MD Crowe of New Zealand in 1991. This record partnership remained unbroken for 9 long years. Sri Lanka, with this record, was able to pile up 952 runs for 6 wickets, which remains the highest Test score in a single inning by any country.
ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice thanked Roshan for his contribution as a MR, “Roshan has been one of the pioneer members of the Elite Panel and an integral element during the period when the Referee’s position was sprouting. On behalf of the ICC, Allardice congratulated him on a triumphant career as a ‘Match Referee’, wishing him well in his future endeavours.