Tillakaratne Dilshan on Thursday confirmed his retirement from ODIs and T20s after the series in Australia. Dilshan’s retirement come under severe pressure from the Srilankan board and the selectors who are looking to build a team for the 2019 World Cup in England. Dilshan, 39, will play his last one-dayer Dambulla on Sunday and his last T20 appearance will be on September 9 in Colombo. Dilshan was the highest run-scorer in this year’s T20 World Cup and had a magnificent run in the year 2015 with 1207 runs to his name at an average of 52.47. He still remains to be one of the best fielders in the side.
Tillakaratne Dilshan has 10,248 runs from 329 ODIs and is the oldest player in history to overcome the 10,000 runs barrier. Making his debut in 1999, the flamboyant right-hander played 87 tests and 78 T20s for the island nation in his 17-year long career. Dilshan had earlier retired from Test cricket in October 2013 at the age of 36. In the 78 T20s, he has played so far, Dilshan has managed 1,884 runs at an impressive average of 28.98 with 13 half centuries and a single ton. He is currently the second highest run scorer in T20I history only bettered by former New Zealand International Brendon McCullum. With 2 more matches to go, Dilshan will be looking forward to being the only 2nd batsman to score 2000 or more runs in the shortest format.
Dilshan played as a lower middle order batsman and was moderately successful, but it all changed as he was tasked with opening the batting for Srilanka in 2009. He flourished at his new job and scored 10 centuries in the calendar year. He soon came to be known as one of the most feared batsmen of this generation. He was the leading run-scorer in World Cup 2011 where Sri Lanka made it through to the final. He was also a part of the Sri Lankan outfit that won World T20 2014 to break the world title drought. Dilshan has the rare privilege of having a shot named after him in the game. The “Dilscoop” as it is known, is played over the Wicket Keeper to fast bowlers at great risk, with the batsman’s eyes closed at the point of impact between the bat and the ball. There will surely be a void created in the Sri Lankan batting line up with his absence but captain Angelo Mathews and the selectors seem to be looking at preparing a team for the next World Cup.