Tillakaratne Dilshan called time on his limited-overs career on Thursday (August 25), announcing that the upcoming One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals against Australia would be his last.
Dilshan, 39, has been one of Sri Lanka’s most consistent performers in ODI cricket, especially over the last few years. In 2015, he was the third highest run-scorer in the format in the world, with 1207 runs in 25 matches at 52.47. Since 2013, he has averaged 49.18, and he is only the fourth Sri Lankan and 11th batsman overall to pass the 10,000-run mark.
Thilanga Sumathipala, the Sri Lanka Cricket president, said they would dedicate the third ODI against Australia – which will be Dilshan’s 330th ODI – on Sunday to Dilshan for his “invaluable contribution to his motherland”.
Dilshan has so far scored 10,248 runs at 39.26, with 22 centuries and 47 half-centuries, with a career-best score of 161 not out against Bangladesh in the 2015 World Cup. He has been handy with his off-spin as well, picking 106 wickets, with best figures of 4 for 4 against Zimbabwe in Pallekele in 2011. In 78 T20Is so far, Dilshan has 1884 runs, including a high score of 104 against Australia, again in Pallekele in 2011.
Dilshan, who is perhaps most famous for inventing the Dilscoop, had already retired from Test cricket in 2013, meaning the ongoing Australia limited-overs matches will therefore be his last ones for Sri Lanka. He played 87 Tests and scored 5,492 runs at 40.98, and also picked 39 Test wickets.
Dilshan missed Sri Lanka’s previous limited-overs series against England due to personal reasons, but returned to the side for the ongoing clash against Australia. He scored 22 and 10 in his two outings so far, and the second T20I against Australia in Colombo will be his international swansong.
Kumar Sangakkara paid tribute to Dilshan, stating that he was one of Sri Lanka’s “greatest match winners”.
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
His retirement is expected to open the doors for youngsters like Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka at the top of the order.