He will join former Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur, who was appointed head of cricket at Derbyshire in November.
“It’s brilliant to be able to bring Suranga to Derbyshire,” Arthur told the Derbyshire club website.
“We have big ambitions for the project at Derbyshire and Suranga’s decision to retire from international cricket and commit to the club shows he’s as excited about those plans as other players and coaches.”
Lakmal, who captained Sri Lanka in five Tests, took 12 wickets at an average of 51 in his five Tests in England.
“Experiencing county cricket is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Lakmal said.
“The chance to work with Mickey again was something I couldn’t turn down.”
Derbyshire have already signed Pakistan opener Shan Masood to play all formats in 2022.
The club won only one of their 14 County Championship matches last season and finished second-bottom of the North Group in the Vitality Blast.
They begin the new season at Middlesex on 7 April.
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