Published : 8:39 am  August 26, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (618) reads | 

Untitled-4Veteran opener T.M. Dilshan has been forced to call time on his international career to make way for team’s buildup for some tough challenges away from home next year including the Champions Trophy Tournament in England. Dilshan, 39, will play his last ODI in Dambulla on Sunday (28) and will play his final Twenty20 International in Colombo on September 9 against Australia if selected to play. Dilshan who was recalled to the side after missing the England series due to personal reasons, did not enjoy much success in the first two ODIs against Australia in Colombo but his own performance in 2015 has been excellent, having scored 1,207 runs at an average of 52.47. However, the selectors were not too keen to persist with the aging senior as they look to build up the team up for the 2019 World Cup and had asked to retire for the best interest of Sri Lanka Cricket. Even though Dilshan believe he could contribute more to the team, he has decided to respect the selectors’ decision and bow out of the game he has dynamically involved for 17-long years.

A former Sri Lanka Captain (2011-2012) was one of the most underrated cricketers in Sri Lanka despite an impressive record across all formats, having amassed over 17,500 runs in international cricket. Dilshan’s biggest success came after he was promoted to batting at the top of the order as he exploited attacking fields and amassed huge scores in all formats: he scored 11 international hundreds in 2009, and won the World Twenty20 Player of the Series Award. Dilshan made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 1999 and since then had featured in 239 matches to-date scoring 10,248 runs and claiming 106 wicket with his off-spin including a best of 4 for 4. Dilshan also had made 22 ODI centuriesthe third most by a Sri Lankan behind Sanath Jayasuriya (28) and Kumar Sangakkara (25) and 47 half centuries in his impressive limited-over career. Interestingly, out of the 22 centuries,

21 came after he was promoted to open the batting for Sri Lanka, an indication of Dilshan’s dominance at the top of the order. Dilshan who is also an outstanding T20 cricketer was the leading run-scorer at the 2009 World T20 where Sri Lanka became the losing finalist and also became only the second Sri Lankan cricketer to score a T20 century after Mahela Jayawardene. He scored 104 against Australia in 2011 at Pallekele, the highest T20 score by a Sri Lankan. He is also the only cricketer to have a cricketing shot named after him – the ‘dilscoop’, which he scoops over his head. He was also Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorer at the recent World T20 in India. He remains one of the best fielders in the side and had also kept wickets for Sri Lanka. In a statement Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that the 3rd ODI to be played on Sunday (28) will be dedicated to honour the master batsman for his invaluable contribution to his motherland