The opening batsman signed a short-term contract with Somerset when it became clear that Australian Ricky Ponting would not be available for the early part of summer 2005.
The former Sri Lankan captain turned down overtures from the Scottish Saltires to sign a five-week deal at Taunton to cover for South African skipper Graeme Smith, who was not available until the end of May.
He first came to the attention of the cricketing world when he was used as a pinch-hitter in the 1996 World Cup and continued to develop his game to such an extent that he became Sri Lanka’s highest Test run-scorer.
On his day he is a brilliant attacking opening batsman, who is immensely strong on the cut and the pull and has the ability to dominate most bowling attacks in the world.
He is a more than useful left-arm spinner, especially in the one-day game, with only Muttiah Muralitharan having taken more one-day wickets for Sri Lanka.
He was captain of his national side from 1999 and held the position until his resignation in 2003.
Without the worries of captaincy in 2004, he enjoyed a prolific year which included a second-innings century against Australia at Kandy and a double hundred against Pakistan at Faisalabad.
He announced his retirement from Test cricket in March 2006, only to reverse his decision and join up with the squad midway through the first Test against England at Lord's. He retired for a second time during England's tour of Sri Lanka in 2007.
One of Sri Lanka's leading batsmen during the 2007 World Cup, he signed a short-term contract with Lancashire to replace Muralitharan during the Twenty20 Cup.
He was snapped up by Warwickshire for the 2008 season as they looked to strengthen their squad with many wholesale changes.