Tillakaratne Dilshan, the former Sri Lankan captain, has announced he will retire from international cricket after the T20 series against Australia.
The news is a massive blow to the team as Dilshan has been Sri Lanka’s most-consistent limited-overs batsman over the past two years. In 2015 Dilshan hit 1207 ODI runs at an average of 52.47 that put him on third on the year’s run-scorers’ list.
The reason of his retirement is believed to be a significant amount of pressure from Sri Lanka’s selectors. It is believed that Angelo Mathews and the selectors now seeking to build a team for the 2019 World Cup so persuaded Dilshan to retire against his will.
He is understood to have expressed reluctance to retirement, but having scored only 22 and 10 runs in the first two matches, has changed his mind. His withdrawal also extends the instability Sri Lanka have experienced at the top of their limited-overs batting order.
Dilshan has himself confirmed that he will play his final ODI in Dambulla on Sunday, the third of the series against Australia, and his last T20 international in Colombo on September 9.
Dilshan who have started his international career in 1999 has appeared in 87 Tests, 329 ODIs and 78 T20 games for his country. Though Dishan is known for his innovative and aggressive batting yet he was also an off-spin bowler (taking 152 international wickets), an excellent fielder and an occasional wicketkeeper. He also served as captain of Sri Lankan team for a brief spell between 2011 and 2012 and was part of the home team that won the T20 World Cup in 2014.
Dilshan is an absolute match winner and game changer. Deserves the grandest of farewells. @OfficialSLC will miss him. A champions career
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) August 25, 2016
Hope Dilshan plays his savage pull and a dilscoop for us to remember him by – not that we need any help, tbh. Wonderfully memorable career
— Andrew F Fernando (@andrewffernando) August 25, 2016
SLC dedicates the 3rd ODI vs Aus to the retiring master batsman T.M. Dilshan for the services rendered to the motherland through cricket.
— Roshan Abeysinghe (@RoshanCricket) August 25, 2016