Sri Lanka in Australia, 2012-13

Dilshan undimmed by his age

Tillakaratne Dilshan's Test career may be nearing its end, but he hasn't lost the form, his fire, or the enjoyment of the game's challenges

Andrew Fernando

December 21, 2012

Comments: 142 | Text size: A | A

Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates his hundred, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 3rd day, December 16, 2012
Tillakaratne Dilshan, at 36, is still exhilarated about the game and its challenges © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Tillakaratne Dilshan
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of Australia

As lights begin to flicker on long cricketing careers, the idea of enjoyment is often invoked by the player approaching his final campaigns. "I'm still having fun out there," is almost a cliché now, trotted out most often by men who are waging war on two fronts: against the opponent, and against time and its effect on his body.

It is an older man's outlook. Twenty-year old freshers are more occupied by the yearning to earn a place in the team and stay there. Fun might be part of it, but making a name for oneself is the overruling motivator, and results the bottom line. When you've seen more than a decade at the top level though, enjoyment becomes increasingly linked with drive. Some men keep getting kicks out of international cricket long after the wear on their bodies have made them unfit for the game's challenges. Others, like Nathan Astle, lose that feeling, while mind and muscle may yet have more to give.

At 36, Tillakaratne Dilshan knows his days are numbered, and he has repeatedly hinted this tour of Australia might be his final fling in the longest format. Yet it is clear that if he is nearly giving up the format, it is not because Dilshan no longer takes pleasure in its challenge.

He is fresh from a Hobart hundred, which was as exuberant as his cricket has ever been, and if the dashing drives and sprightly singles did not betray his exhilaration, the excitement in his century celebration certainly did. Leaping high in the air, shouting for joy - even green first-timers have shown more reserve than him, and it was his 15th trip to triple figures.

The cover drive is his most memorable stroke, but unlike his teammates' renditions, Dilshan's version veers wildly from the classical. Kumar Sangakkara unwinds his cover drive almost mechanically; power, poise, posture and punch. Mahela Jayawardene's is more poetry than science, and to use as ugly a word as "hit" to describe the balls he sends to the boundary seems unjust to the grace he exudes. But Dilshan's cover drive suits him just as well. The feet remain almost stationary, and the space between bat and pad, gaping. But the blade comes down in a rapid swish and defies logic and technique as it collects the ball in its arc briefly, before re-directing it at the fence. Talent and gall are its hallmarks, just as those qualities rule the man who wields the stroke.

"I have just enjoyed my batting," Dilshan said of his recent run of form, during which he has scored three hundreds in four Tests. "That might be why I've been successful in the recent months. I'm enjoying every single challenge with my batting. I focused on this tour, because it's not easy to do well in Australia against this attack. I'm enjoying every single ball in the middle and that's why I've been able to score big runs."

He has also been at his best when unfettered. In June last year, he accepted the captaincy with great enthusiasm, discarding even his trademark earring and designer beard in order to appear more responsible, but he did not wear "ordinary" well, and the captaincy weighed too heavy on his free-spirited batting. But for a spectacular 193 at Lord's in his second Test in the job, Dilshan's eight months at the helm were almost as dry for him as they were for his team. He still says his batting was not affected by leadership, but his scores suggest otherwise.

The same relish for the big occasion that saw his side lift his team at the game's most prestigious venue might also see him at his best on cricket's biggest stage. He hit a hundred in the tour match preceding the Hobart Test, and Sri Lanka will hope he extends that sequence in Melbourne as well. A fiery start can work wonders to a team's confidence, and Dilshan is that rare batsman who can change the complexion of a match in one innings. Happily, he is aware enough of his game to know that thinking too much on the occasion might not help him draw from the valuable parts of his cricket.

"We should just treat it as another match. It's a special day, and a special match, but we shouldn't try to put too much pressure on ourselves. Last time we played a Boxing Day Test in South Africa we won it. We should just go through our regular processes as batsmen and bowlers and begin the match like we usually do."

In Hobart, Dilshan's day-three charge was the only time when Sri Lanka ever had the upper hand in the Test's narrative. His hundred was an explosion of joy, and few who witnessed it could resist its charm. Dilshan may not be around in whites beyond the Sydney Test.

It is a sobering thought, and a puzzling one, for why would a man still awash in such striking form be so close to walking away? But perhaps it is better than holding on until time has eroded his delight in the game as well as his skill, and at least his final series will have produced an innings by which he deserves to be remembered.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

@Sinhaya; Always nice to see & read comments of you. I appreciate your comments since those are not just emotional feelings & have reinforced by full of facts. Nice work & keep it up bro. By the way, there are lots of Sinhaya's have already been entered into cricinfo. I saw, Sinhaya-2, Rise of Sinhaya & Sinhya. Good leader is a person who can influence on others. Hope you have made some followers...

@gnanzcupid; I'm appreciate your stay here & make comments. At least, i was able to see nice language skills from you. Love to see the way you handle your language. Wish you Merry X'mas again & waiting to catch you up in advance.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; Ok. Lets call it a day. Eagerly waiting to see you in a latest article. Wish you Merry X'mas there at Australia!

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

@colombo_SL, nicely summed up and welldone! @gnanzcupid, I will be on cricinfo no matter what happens. I love my cricket as always from the bottom of my heart. We see very well that Rangana Herath is a very good bowler, but Murali was beyond great and that prevented him from playing for many years. Same is with our other youngsters where Sanga and MJ are too good preventing them from playing. Honestly I could not see anything neutral in you when you brought in your political grudge to this thread. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Poor guys. You keep beating around the bush. And those who feel you have a bettter knowledge of cricket,i wanna say you that my cricket knowledge must be as old as your chronological age. Anyways i never have to prove you anything. Its you who see the lankan cricket with a green glass. Am being neutral mates. Accept the critics. Have a sporting mind. Lets meet at the end of next test. Lets see whether you guys turn up.again ill register my comment. Lankan future talent is a big negative

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, not much time left before this article will be closed for comments. Sri Lanka having survived 30 years since getting test status shows we have justified giving the status to us in style. I am also very impressed with Dimuth Karunaratne. He scored 60 not out in his debut test match last month. So far his test average of 34.66 shows what he is capable of. He scoring 30 in the 2nd innings at Hobart minefield simply proved he can be a great opener. Stop being a psychic. Akila Dhananjaya will be our future Muralitharan. Explaining you is like talking to a wall. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; Small trees find it difficult to grow as they want, when there are big trees. Youngsters had no enough vacant spaces in Sri Lanka line up due to seniors. Youngsters should be given fair amount of chance to settle in a particular position. Now seniors are about to retire. Hope our youngsters may get enough opportunities to cement their positions in the squad. I'm sure that, they will provide enough evidence in advance to prove that you are wrong. Until then be patient mate. Otherwise it is useless doing these arguments.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, If your glasses are green in color, you always seen everything as green. No surprise. We can say 1+2=3 exactly. But, when we argue on facts about future, it is always subjected to bounded rationality. We can't find or come into a final decision since future is yet to come. Think your rationality is bounded by lot of factors. So, lets allow sometime for our youngsters to do the justice on behalf of you or me. Otherwise it is so boring.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, how did Angelo do this alone? Angelo broke the world record in this match! http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/446957.html Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, yeah all what I post is wrong but what you post is right! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Ajmal missing is not our problem. It was Pakistan's decision not to play him. We beat Pakistan in the previous games when he played. Our youngsters are great. In the 5th ODI, it was Angelo and Chandimal who helped us win.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, I have a far superior knowledge of cricket than you. Fact is that SA have been playing cricket since the 1920s and Don Bradman played against them indeed. Remember we won the 4th ODI in Kimberley against South Africa due to Thisara Perera heroics. See this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/514038.html. It was Thisara Perera and Chandimal who helped us win. Have a look at Thisara Perera's ODI stats. He has got plenty of man of the match awards. We have plenty of talented players and ready for the future. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Poor Sinhaya. you again got your example wrong.In that match again sanga contributed and also see there is ajmal(an important bowler) missing. its a half fit bowling attack from pakistan.Sanga laid the foundation.You should understand the youngsters whom you say are like fire-flies.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, here is another classic example of how Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal helped us beat Pakistan this year in the 5th ODI in Colombo. We can survive very well without MJ and Sanga. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/562443.html Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

@colombo_SL .Whatever is told against me,im here for cricketing reasons and wont let people with any other agenda to modify my view that SL has no future after Sanga and Mahela retire.World knows the fact.Let us see after the end of this test series.Let my nationality stay aside which im least bothered to prove to you people and make you believe it.Lankans can give a fight in the form of Mahela and Sanga,but cant win even a single test here. Ill be forum regularly.Lets see if the same people turn up after you get drubbed

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

colombo_sl regarding this match http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-australia-2011/engine/match/514029.html,the pitch had demons and it eased on as the play progressed.Look at the SA score in 1st innings mate. I dont boast it as the best performance,it is a bad performance but it was a 30 year old clarke who atleast contributed in that match.Am talking about future talent.Understand this all you people before commenting here

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

@charos i have no necessity to hide my nationality.I have no hatred towards Lankans as you imagine.Its needless that i need you to prove this,but though had i been a basher i wouldn't have praised the true talents of Lanka like sanga,mahela,murali,malinga,aravinda,sanath.My point is that Lankans have no future talent.Its my analysis,i have my damn own right to express it. You seem to be funny.Is lankan used rarely in aus?haha. You probably dont know Aussie slang my dear.Al your time analysis and stuff are very pathetic. I know my grammar is not bad as you suggest, spoken slang is diffeent in different parts of the country.I have my own right to express what i feel,instead of taking it an opportunity to have a personal attack,discuss cricket here. So you people always want to positive criticism? you cannot get that from me.am straight forward.ill voice what i feel. SL has not young talent

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

@sinhaya. I think its you who are having little knowledge on cricket. After apartheid ban,it was in 1991 that csa came into existance. You people just don have some basic understanding. My point was sanga and mahela were the pillars who were carrying lanka for past 7 years. I cited an example of 43 not outside to prove my point that most of the times when neither sanga nor mahela have fired,lankan youngsters have failed due to lack of talent. However you try to twist my comments,i stand v clear with no hidden agendas. You see the stat of your lankan team's sa tour. They won the one dayers due to sanga heroics. I am a true cricket follower and you should have the heart to bear criticisms. Your attitude is funny

Posted by first_slip on (December 24, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, keep trolling man, what a waste of time and effort,

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, what happened to Aussies in 2010? I am answering your allegation on SL getting skittled out for 43. Aussies got all out for 88 in Headingley and 98 at the MCG when the track had no demons! Want evidence? http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/428752.html Please stop mud slinging at Sri Lanka just for the sake of doing so. This is what Aussies face in Headingley http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/426395.html Understand the impact of what you did?? Whilst in a glasshouse you were throwing stones and it all cameback to you. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, do you recall when Sanath Jayasuriya scored 189 in Sharjah, which is one of the flattest tracks on earth? What happened to India chasing it? Have a look below. Cricinfo please publish. @All cricket fans kindly note that I never wanted to sling mud at your teams, but gnanzcupid is forcing me to do so.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

@Charos, thanks a lot for decoding all the comments by gnanzcupid. My hats off salutes to you buddy. I honestly want all test playing nations to be equal to each other so that all cricket games will be nail biters. But pathetic characters like gnanzcupid simply want to see Sri Lanka out of test cricket when cricket is currently a global minority sport. Yes you are right! Only sub continent people call Sri Lanka as just Lanka. Aussies and English never call our country as Lanka.

Posted by Charos on (December 24, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@ Sinhaya & ColomboSL, That guy is not a real Aussie, at least, in terms of his origin. He is just pretending as an Aussie cricket fan, but backing up for his own agenda, as you have already, but lately figured out. Some examples, from his own comments, here. 1. The term 'LANKAN' (not 'SRI LANKAN') is rarely used by Aussies, which this guy uses often. It is a term sub-con fans use./ 2. "England has not won a wc,IS it?" note grammar./ 3. I had bit worked out on the timings of all his postings. If converted to Australian Eastern Time, posted times range from 2:19PM to 4:45AM. If he lives in Perth it changes to 11:19AM to 1:45AM. And interestingly, if he lives in zone of GMT+5.30, it is 8:49AM to 11:15PM. / English is not his mother tongue (however no offense on poor grammar) and he is just a SL hater from somewhere else. Do not waste your time and do not be trapped.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, this article will close for comments in a short time later today. Kindly note that NZ got all out for double digits in the 1st T20 against SA and that proves that such low scores are clearly a part and parcel of cricket. I was indeed happy to see NZ fight to win last night. Your comments on politics and unwanted SL matters simply prove that you will be at the MCG day after tomorrow protesting against Sri Lanka. I will be going to watch the match at the MCG to give full hearted support to Sri Lanka.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, forgot how England had all the time in the world to chase 150 to win in Abu Dhabi when the pitch had no demons at all, but got skittled out for less than 80? Recall this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/531629.html? Remember those inside a glasshouse should not be throwing stones at each other and that is what you are doing right now. Simple reality is that you have a major vendetta against Sri Lanka in all forms. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, since you are harping on our 43 all out, let me show you all of these. Where were you when Aussies got all out for 88 and 98 in test matches. Have a look at this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/428752.html and even this one http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/426395.html. Forgot how India got all out for 54 in Sharjah, which is one of the flattest tracks on earth? How did Sanath Jayasuriya freely score 189 that day? See this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65900.html Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, you dont have a real identity. You are an NZ fan trying to sling mud at Sri Lanka. What has NZ really achieved? Never have we lost an ODI series to Bangladesh. You dont know cricket. South Africa got test status back in the 1920s during the time of Sir Don Bradman. No way did they get test status after us. They were re admitted to cricket after the ban and even during the ban, their players played for English counties.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, if Sanga and Mahela never took to cricket, someone else would have got the breakthrough, simple. If KP and Trott never opted to migrate to England, someone else would have been chosen and through experience, they would have reached the levels KP and Trott reached. So if MJ and Sanga never became cricketers, we would have groomed someone else. Ever since 1996, we never had batting problems. We have a good future in cricket.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid; I'm sure you may available there at MCG, in front of Gate on Boxing Day with ugly posters against Sri Lanka. Please don't mixed up sport with your hidden agendas. I assume, you should be the person who ran into an Australian Ground when we were playing there with an unnecessary flag.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; One of your latest comments summarize one thing very clearly. We can clearly understand for what you are standing for? Your hidden agenda is not a hidden one furthermore. See the second sentence of your comment on December 24 2012, 07:08 AM GMT. I am extremely feel very sorry about you.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

@gnanzcupid: I just want to reply for one of your comments. You said we were all about for 43 in an one day match. It is true. Don't throw stones away when you are in a glass house. Consider the test match in SA with Aus in 2011/12 season. Go to following link. " http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-australia-2011/engine/match/514029.html". You were all out to 47. It was not a 50 over match. OMG, it was a test. All above your arguments are applicable to this & you just want to apply Australia in the places of SA. "That was a case in which both your real bigs were failed. Other ''talented'' youngsters managed their team 47 all out in a test match. A run per over could have taken you to 50+. In that match one of your bowlers top scored.". Can you understand what happens if Siidle or Lyon was not their. \i think it is more than enough.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Sad to see the state of youngster in lanka without any talent. Have to feel for the politics in cricket and tamil massacres that happened in their country. Do to political interference the sl youth are becoming talentless and worthless. Unless something revolutionary happens and brings a change,lankans have no future. Even the country's board is at the mercy of other board to conduct a match. Slc is truly the weakest.They are so money minded and want to replace tests with odis and t20.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; Ok mate. Lets give time some time to prove it. I don't like to bother about either past or future so much. I just want live in the present itself. Because, it creates a past & shape the future. Hope you will take part in the future forums with such an enthusiasm. In advance we may realize what is correct or not. Lets step into a latest article if you don't mind where several interesting things are going on . Wish all the best for Clarke to sort out his fitness issue on Wednesday. We love to see him in the boxing day test. While wishing all success for your team on Boxing day test, i really appreciate giving away your valuable time with us to share your views. Wish you a Merry X'mas. Cheers!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

I thought i shall not mention this. But a necessity arises now.You had a test victory in sa. Accepted.Do you know that you also scored the lowest total of the last 10 years of 43 allout in one dayers. That was a case in which both your real big 2 failed. Other ''talented'' youngsters managed their team 43 all out in one of their 50 over match. A run per over could have taken you to 50. In that match one of your bowlers top scored.Remember the pitch had no demons or 'minefield' as sa managed 300+ in the same patch on that day. We attribute a defeat of 250+ only to associate nations,dont we? I do agree sl was rescued to a 2-3 loss by winning their last 2 matches,thanks to some real talent in sanga. Do you people know a fact. Sa started international cricket only 10 years after you were started. So you cant give the image of 'late entry biggies' here. Sa is the best in all the department and formats,you people could not even stand near their shadows. Such is the state of your young men.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

See. Again you dont get me right with your poor understanding. I said sl cant win even with associates in future as they have no talent. My standarised analysis was to prove a point that lankans had 2 great talents in the names of mahela and sanga who carried their team for ward for 7 years. But the future of lanka for the years after them is bleak as you have no talent. There is a difference between drubbing and analysis,critic. Learn the meaning mates

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; For your kind information, i would like to tell you one thing. last year Kepler Vessel said even their A team can beat Sri Lanka. But they had see our joy after winning second test match. I think, kepler was hide in a Vessel until the 3rd test.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

@Sinhaya; You are extremely correct. If gnanzcupid says our youngsters are not talented enough, we would have been accepted it or at least think about it. Constructive criticisms are always welcome by us. No doubt about it. But, i feel he just want to put our country down even under the associates level. Feel he is in a day dream.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 24, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

@gnanzcupid;My dear friend, be a down to earth guy first. Are you poor enough to say "Else your team would have lost all matches without them.". Without Sanga & Mahela, we never going to play with 9 players. We definitely replace new guys for them. (you have the freedom to tell, they are not talented. It is upto you). I feel extremely sorry about you dear friend. Why you waste your time doing so called standardized analysis of lankans performances had sanga and mahela were not there for last 7 years. They were there. Why you suffering the life so much with lots of "ifs", "buts", "unless" & "otherwise" etc. Come on mate. Just enjoy the life. Don't live in the past or the future. Just enjoy the Christmas.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 24, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

@Colombo_sl and @sinhaya. Your comments make me laugh like anything. First,speaking about the talents of sa does not mean we are afraid of them,it means that real talent is appreciated. U must understand one thing. Winning a final first and losing 4 will naturally imply that sl team has deteriorated. In all those 4 world cups either sanga or mahela,malinga would have been at top form. Else your team would have lost all matches without them. Just have a open mind to accept the reality that you have no young talents. Lankans wil bite the dust after the big 2 retire. Lankan young players are talentless. I have a standardised analysis of ur lankan performances had sanga and mahela were not there for last 7 years. Results are as good as your young talents. And coming to your comments on sa. You say sa dint enter a final,accepted. Does this rob them off their no.1 team tag. Ask even a child who follows cricket for atleast 3 years.He wil tell you about sa greatness and lankan hopeless future

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, thank you so much for making me laugh. I am having a real laughter holiday reading your comments on Sri Lanka. Thank you for making me happy and giving me a long life. I am simply rolling on the floor laughing to glory. I am least bothered about our future as we have a good future ahead.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 1:01 GMT)

@colombo_SL, it is no doubt great to make it to the world cup finals. If you make it to the finals, you are definitely better than those who failed to make it. Meaningless arguing with gnanzcupid. We have plenty of talent. Lets come for a showdown next time we win. This fellow is trying to show we have lost all games.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

@@gnanzcupid; It seems to be, you are fearing about South Africa. Because you were unable to beat them in a test this time. But we beat them 2-0 on our home soil. Last year we beat them in a test match on their home soil. It is more than enough to tell that we are some where closer to them even in test matches. You know, we have taken four wickets in four balls against Saffas. Have any one been able to do that. You have been playing cricket more than 100 years.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; this is a quotation of your earlier comment. "But wherever there is hunger for more,naturally there is a tendency to give more than 100 percent and in the process people get one or two niggles.And you must learn that is far better for talented young guys to give more than their 100 pc and in the process to get 1 or 2 injuries than remaining without talent". According to your philosophical view, it is far better to lost many WC finals(after giving 100%) rather than remaining without talent. What is the value of your so called South Africans, if they can't enter into a WC final in 6 attempts. What the purpose of remaining without that talent & watching Sri Lanka playing finals. I'm very proud to say we are very consistent & talented than south africans in shorter formats. Don't take poor effort to compare shorter formats with longer formats my dear friend.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; We never shameful for having failed 5 times at the final hurdle. We are not shame on having failed at five times, but we are proud of reaching 5 times for the final. You seems to be like an expert of cricket statistics & analysis, but it seems that you never know the fundamental purpose of a sport. Being in a final is a big achievement rather than watching others playing, as far as i concern.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

Ya like you say time will clearly show whether lankan team is atleast worth a game against the associate nations or not. 1996 was an era of some good lankan players like aravinda,arjuna. Ok since you boast of 1996 win,can i ask you one thing? How many wc finals have you lost? Isnt this shameful? For having failed 5 times at the final hurdle. Just answer this question. Southafrica has not won a wc,but you have. Does this by any way make your team is anyway near than their team's talent. South africa has supreme talent. But lanka has no future talent..

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; I'm very happy to see that you are very proactive about the future of Sri Lanka cricket. Even our administrators haven't think so far. you have already analyzed our strengths & weaknesses & have prepared a progress report in advance. Happy to see such a commitment towards improvement of our cricket. Keep it up gentleman.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; It is upto you to decide whether we are satisfied with super 8 or not. Because, you know very well we were the World Champs in1996 by beating your strong team.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; I have something to tell you. I firmly believe, Australia was the most consistent test team in the previous decade. I'm not crazy enough to argue against that & never say we are the best team in test cricket. We never had been. I'm without any doubt, give due credit to the Australians. I just wanted to argue with you, because you had heavily criticized about our youngster's talents & had taken silly efforts to rank our team equally with Associate countries. I feel it is better to allow the time to answer for question.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

Mr.Colombo_sl.You say im complex using ifs and buts. But you yourselves say "sanga and mahela may definitely play". You yourselves cant say it for sure. Those two are already 35.Can you be so definite of a 'may play'? Don't you find it funny. I make myself v clear. In the absence of mahela and sanga in the team,sl cant even win a single match in the next wc at aus. Sl youngsters will lose heavily even to associates. So better dont build castles in air my dear lankan fans

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

Mr.colombo_sl i think you have a confusion between fitness and talent. I believe you are actually not familiar with talent since you have started learning cricket only now and there is no real future talent in lanka. So you are getting confused between talent and fitness. Both are not the same dear. Just because clarke is half fit does not imply he is not talented. I thought you would understand proper english. And regarding your comments on the cricket expert. Look at your test sides' bowling unit. It does not have the names like murali,vaas,malinga who have taken wickets at international arena. Dont u consider this to be the weakest of among al the previous lankan visits? And coming to your claim that lanka would enter super 8. If you consider that even a super 8 spot will satisfy you,it speaks for itself that you consider that your team is fit only for super 8. Even countries like ireland,kenya have managed to get over round 1 in world cup tournaments. Lankans are like them

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

@Htc-Android; I have never said our young players are talented enough. Most important thing is to give them sufficient time to settle & cement their position in the team.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; Why you make your life complex with lot of ifs & buts. Sanga & Mahela may definitely available there at the WC. It means, we are already at super 8. Thanks for atleast accepting it.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid ; I doesn't want to waste my time on fitness issue. See the latest article. " Clarke 50--50, Starc to sit out". I suppose ,it is more than enough about your fitness.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 23, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; We never say, getting 9 wickets in an innings was a great achievement. But the fact is, one of your so called cricket expert had said that this was the worst bowling attack which has ever landed to Australia. It automatically reflects your team's performance.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Very sad and feeling pity for few lankans unable to digest certain facts about the bleak sl cricketing future

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 23, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, I cant be wasting any time explaining matters to you. No matter how much my team loses, I will give my whole hearted support to them. I loved watching cricket from 1991 onwards when it was a time Sri Lanka were mediocre at best. So it does not matter to me even if our cricket declines. We have very talented players like Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Akila Dhananjaya, Chathuranga Kumara, Roshan Jayatissa, Sachithra Senanayake, Angelo Perera, Dilshan Munaweera, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Sachithra Serasinghe and much more. Angelo Mathews has a world record which is the 9th wicket stand for ODIs. I cant waste my valuable time talking to someone like you who is hellbent on bashing Sri Lanka.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

colombo_SL for your better info i would like you to go through all the comments of mine before commenting.I had always maintained that malinga is a good t20 and odi player. I think you have not come here to discuss cricketing stuff,your intentions seem to be merely countering few comments without any basic understanding. Ill be always following quality cricket wherever its played. And for your challenge i accept it.I can very well predict that SL team would not even qualify for super 8 if sanga and mahela dont feature in your team.Lets see if you turn up after your team loses.I will be always healthy for a challenge. Poor Sl fans should find a place to hide their faces after defeats.AUS,NZ,IND,SA are full of promising young talents.SL is full of substandard talents.There will be a time in the near future where the SL fans will find it shameful to appear here in the forum even to post your comments,am not dreaming but saying this after seeing the talents of young SL cricketers.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 23, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

@colombo_SL so u mean to say taking 9 wickets in 2nd innings a great achievement?? Seems you are stating to follow cricket just now or may be you are learning the ABC'S of cricket now.Ok lets see in the way you present it.If thats the case you people could not even take more than 5 in the 1st innings.If u think Australia is without many fit young fast bowlers you are terribly mistaken.May be pattinson is nursing an injury.But wherever there is hunger for more,naturally there is a tendency to give more than 100 percent and in the process people get one or two niggles.Name any one fast bowler who has played more than 5 to 10 years without getting injured even once.And you must learn that is far better for talented young guys to give more than their 100 pc and in the process to get 1 or 2 injuries than remaining without talent.And you say you extended the match to the last session,is it?? If u consider that to be a pride then it makes it clear that you consider your side worthless

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 23, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

colombo_SL. Dont u see chandimal as the talented youngster. who scored Heavily in AUs,Eng,SA in ODIs. Also he 2 fifties in his debut test match in SA. This is not normal for a subcontinent player. Thissera perera won 6 MOM awards within his first 50 ODIs. Also we have mathews performing consistently. Upul Tharanga has scored 12 centuries in ODIs. What else u need? Yes we will struggle a bit after the retirement of sanga and mahela. But we will still remain better than NZ and WI.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

I've always felt that dilshan looked best in the middle order as he plays more rash shots than a test opener should. You can see we dilshan a family is growing up that he wants to spend time with them and that's why he's thinking of giving up one format so he can spend more time with the family and earn more easy money before he retires.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

@gnanzcupid ; We can also get a rough idea about your young bloods's performance by seing Malinga'ss performance in BBL. He dismantled one of your team by exposing their weaknesses on your home soil. It is the best T20 bowling figure on your esteem country. I never feel one of your young may be able to break that record.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

It's a shame we should be talking about Dilshan's retirement, merely because of chronological age, when he has become a more mature player, apparently overcome recently his propensity to get out early to rash strokes trying to attack from the word go. About his much maligned captaincy, he delivered an away win against SA, a feat not too many can claim and players like Herath, Chandimal and Thisara became match winners under him. There is nobody to replace him right now and if and when he leaves we would really miss him. Definitely.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; With all love in heart, i would like to tell you, be worry about your young blood first. At least, help them maintain fitness required for lonnger format of cricket. See how consistent your players with injuries these days. If this trend would continue, you may not find sufficient bowlers to occupy in longer formats. We can understand your talents by seeing their fitness issues.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; Even on your home soil, you had to work hard & wait untill the last hour to taste the victory on the 5th day. Even in paddy field like turf on final day which was supplemented by breeze, you had to work hard to get our wickets. Don't think you have settled all your problems in the current team, due to this win. Though, your mates boasted about Wade, his bowling showed us how poor you are these days. It is reinforced by your innocent efffort to get Du Plessis out with Saffas.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

@gnanzcupid ; One of your so called cricket expert had said that this SL bowling attack is the worst bowling department that have ever landed to Australia. Lets think it is true for a while. They were strong enough to get nine wickets of your second innings within two sessions. Even in an Australian pitch, you gave away 5 wickets to a spinner. If your expert is correct, it is more than enough to understand the potential of your young blood on your home soil.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; These comments are not adequate to justify the potential of our young blood. I wish you good health during 2015 to see & feel the powers of our young blood on your home soil. Because these comments do not do the justice for our young blood, but they should do it themselves.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; I have huge respect on Australian cricket but not on fans like you who has hidden agendas on mind. Let me give some time to present few things for your consideration. Hope you come to this forum untill the end of the series.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 22, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

@gnanzcupid; It seems to be you are an Australian. I further belive you are from an remote area of Australia & still have some pain on mind due to your failure of this summer at the very outset.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 22, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

@ Suranga Devamullage, I am talking test cricket. Mahela is a nothing in tests in Australia and South Africa. Just wait and see what happens in the current series. Aravinda played the first convincing Sri Lankan test knock down under. Roy Diaz and Wettimuni didn't get that many chances but they are the first two world class players from Sri Lanka.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, ICC will never relegate us ever. If you are dreaming of that to happen, well it wont happen. After West Indies kept losing in the late 90s and early 2000, did ICC threaten with such a thing? What about Bangladesh then? Zimbabwe got time off tests due to the main XI walking off. It will never happen in Sri Lanka mate. Our contribution to cricket has been outstanding. How many consecutive tests did England lose in 1993? Did Sri Lanka ever suffer that fate? Kindly note that cricket is a global minority sport and having all 10 elite nations playing test cricket is in the best interest of the game.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 22, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

I realise that Michael Clarke is the numer1 batsman in the world at the moment. However, I believe Dilshan is equally good and should be sharing that spot. I don't know why he is contemplating his future. He is fit and looks like 28. So, at a time when 40-year old Tendulkar is still holding on to his spot, players like Dilshan who is performing at their peak, should hold onto it for another year or so. 37-38 probably the ripe age for retirement. At 36, batsmen peaks.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, Thisara Perera was chosen by Kochi Tuskers and he did play. Now he is with Mumbai Indians. See how many man of the match awards he has won. He is a promising all rounder. You will be surprised to see when Chandimal, Karunaratne, Thirimanne in good nick once they are established. Chandimal scored twin fifties in his debut test match last year. That is fantastic.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, I also admit our weakness has been our inability to make use of our own resources. Good example is how NZ was smart enough to utilize Chaminda Vaas last month when we never bothered. Also, pathetic how we could not make us of Chandika Hathurusingha who is a fully qualified coach. Instead NSW has appointed him as a coach and we will badly miss the services of one of our own sons. I admit there are many problems SL cricket has on the administrative front, but there is no shortage of player talent. Remember great spinners like Warne and Murali emerge only once in 40 years.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

mr.sinhaya.i would like to inform that perara was selected for chennai super kings. did he play ?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

Mr.Sinhaya. Can i ask you to have some basic understanding regarding few things. I had always maintained and will maintain that MURALI is the best talent Lanka will ever produce.I accept that there were some good players in the Lankan team in the past.But my point is that Lanka has no cricketing future.Lets see what the ICC decides after some years of below par lankan display.Lanka has no promising player for the future.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, I never shrugged away by trying to show nothing is wrong with our team. I fully agree that our bowling attack is weak for test cricket. Also, I have to say that our test record against Australia is pathetic in contrast to our test record against other nations. Also, I admit that financial woes are also affecting our cricket. I also admit that unwanted interference also affects our cricket as it has been throughout our cricket history. I also admit that our ODI record is the worse against India specially since IPL began. Ok, if you are talking about our defeats to associate nations yes I agree we lost to Bangladesh this year in an ODI. But have n't all other test playing nations lost to Bangladesh in ODIs? I honestly urge you to analyze how we perform in 2013 when most of our cricket is ODIs. For ODIs, you will see more of our youngsters like Thisara Perera and Akila Dhananjaya.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, I wonder whether you would have been posting all these negative stuff about Sri Lanka if we just managed to hold on for another 10 more overs at the Bellarive Oval? Remember we showed tremendous charcter and fighting spirit when the conditions were absolutely tough. We never lost inside 4 days. I guess I cant change your thoughts at all, but I am proud of how my boys fought. We all know the weakness in our bowling department, but we are glad to say that we have the world's leading wicket taker in test matches for this calender year and it is no one but Rangana Herath!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Most lankan fans dont seem to understand my point and they jump like a man bitten by a scorpion.I do accept very very few lankan youngsters have performed but most young blood around the world do that.Just one century would not have mede Ponting a legend.But once people learn to play them of find some techniques to get them out,the SL players fade away like fire-flies.But the people of other test playing nations work hard and find a solution and emerge succesful.Current lankan team is stagnant with their so called youngsters.Their youngsters are just like fire-flies.So where there is no talent,you cant groom it.If SL wants to have a future select a few school boys and send them to AUS or ENG or even INDIA.These nations can change even a clay into an idol.Else SL will be playing with the associated in another few years

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, you are contradicting yourself by suddenly calling Sanath and Aravinda as legends when you said in that article on Matt Wade that only Murali was the talent of SL cricket history. Come on buddy, no talentless side can end up being in the world cup finals in recent times. I cant change your views on Sri Lanka. I am more than a 100% sure that ICC will never remove the test status Sri Lanka received. If Australian school boys are better than most of SL team members, can I kindly ask you as to how did we manage to beat Australia in 6 out of our last 10 ODIs played in Australia? Come on buddy, why so bitter towards Sri Lanka?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

@Supunsha must be new to cricket.England has not won a wc,is it? who won the 2010 WC at windies dear?

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, you are not following cricket enough. Just look at how many man of the match awards has Dinesh Chandimal received? If we are no good, why on earth has the BBL taken Thisara Perera, Jeewan Mendis and Malinga? On the test front, Rangana Herath will play another 3 to 4 years. Look at the innings by innings record for Angelo Mathews please. Regarding our great cricketers, it is not only Murali. The list of great cricketers from Sri Lanka are Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda De Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Marvan Atapattu, Thilan Samaraweera, Chaminda Vaas, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and also T M Dilshan.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

@Sinhaya i appreciate your gesture of trying to shrug away as if nothing is wrong with the SL team. But can you hide your laughter on saying these?? I have no hatred for the SL team but sympathy for the Lankan fans for going to have all humiliations like playing with associate nations,losing test status etc,.But you should understand that you need to have some sort of talent to play at the highest level.Else a talentless country like SL cant survive just at top with just past fire-fly glories

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Supunsha-How long will you live with one WC,one era of legends like SANATH,ARAVINDA,SANGA,MAHELA and 1 or 2 Test wins? I feel winning a final is better than playing 5 finals and losing(you people seem to celebrate this defeat).Those who say you play well for a nations board which is just 30 old,I would like to tell you that SA board is just 20 years old.Does your team have any bright prospects like hashim,faf,ABD,duminy,philander or steyn.All these players are less than 30 years and every one who has a fair bit of cricketing knowledge will accept that they are the players for the next 5 years for sure.Does SL have even one such bright and promising player?SL have only few one match wonders.SL future is as good as their young talents(bleak).

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

@Sinhaya u must be joking.I just expressed my views.Seems it pains the lankan fans much due to their repeated failures( just one win in last 9 test series including test match defeats to NZ and ENG at home).I humbly feel my comments are not bad for cricket but a talentless team like SL is.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@Sageleaf i feel i just need to be a passionate cricket follower and not a broadcaster or cricketer playing at the highest level to have my say here. I have been a cricket follower since 1987.I follow quality cricket wherever its played on the earth.I feel this SL team has no future after mahela and sanga. All the youngsters in the team are just like fire-flys. they flash once and then they are gone.Even countries like AUS,IND and NZ are also in rebuilding phase.They may also lose more matches than they usually do. Can you ever imagine that these teams have no future?No.Is that the case with these lankan players?Some of my school boys here at Australia are far more talented than most of the SL team members. Because of such talent-less teams like SL,test matches are starting to become boring and hence people switch to T20 mode.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

@Sageleaf, thanks a lot for your response. We as Sri Lankans are proud to say that it was we who last defeated the no. 1 test team South Africa in a test match, which happened on the 29th Dec last year and since then, SA have not lost a single test match. That shows we are reasonable. I guess we can have a laughter holiday reading the comments by gnanzcupid. I dont think gnanzcupid is an Australian. As his name shows, he is from NZ with a mega bitterness towards Sri Lanka for which I cant understand.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

@yohand41984, Dinesh Chandimal should be given the chance at the SCG should PJ fail at the MCG. Look at Chandimal's record outside Asia. He seems to be loving the fast tracks.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

@yohandf1984, Mathews clearly prove that he can last long like a wall. He simply is fit to be our captain. Also, Upul Tharanga can be recalled to our test team. We made a big mistake by not having Ajantha Mendis in this tour. But I have to say that we lost the Hobart test due to the rash shot Mathews played. Rest of the wickets in our 2nd innings fell off true wicket taking deliveries. Angelo has any a bad habit of playing cow shots. Good examples are last year in the 5th ODI against England in Manchester, his rash shot cost us the match and the series. Also, this year in the 2nd test against England at the P Sara, he played a rash shot and ended our 2nd innings. Anyway, Angelo's batting is the best against Aussies looking at both his test and ODI records.

Posted by Niketh2000 on (December 22, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@gnanzcupid- If you want to wait until Sri Lanka plays with associate nations only,then do it, but i advise you to do something more hopeful like expecting mangoes to grow in banana trees, because I'm afraid to say that you woulnt have enough years in you to see that happen to Sri Lanka. 'Every artist was first an amateur' Who would have thought Sir Don Bradman would score at an avg of 99+ when he played his debut for Australia? Who would have thought Muttiah Muralidaran would go on to be the highest wicket taker and arguably the best spinner the game has ever seen when he was accused for chucking in 1995?

That's what makes cricket so beautiful and unique - its unpredictability.

Posted by Supunsha on (December 22, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid , Sri lanka can never be unerestimated. They've won the world cup and thrice they've made it the finals. None of South Africa, Newzeland or England have done so. They get those talented guys just at the time. Once it was Aravinda and Arjuna who were the Anchors. Then Attapattu and Sanath. Now it is Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan. Sure there will be some one to take place. May be Mathews and Chandi. But for sure Sri Lankan Cricket will not go to the hell.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

@yohandf1984, this type of bashing by gnanzcupid against any test team is not good for cricket, which is a global minority sport. Unity among fans is in the best interest of the game.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

@yohandf1984, just ignore gnanzcupid. He is just a troll desperate for attention. I have to tell you bro that we are certainly not bad as a test playing side looking at the fact that we won 4 out our last 10 tests. We have not been able to maintain our dominance in the next tests after we won one like how it prove after our Durban win and even our Galle win against England.

Posted by Sageleaf on (December 22, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Mr. gnanzcupit I respect you comments as it's considered your opinion and you have the liberty to do so. But may I ask you: have you ever played the game to the highest level?" If not...it shows how hideous your comments look here. I respect Australian cricket and they are truly professionals but they are not the best team in the world. Well if you are not a TV broadcaster let the TV broadcasting companies worry about covering the Lankan games. Remember no country in the world has won a world cup gaining test status in 15 years. The only country to do it so far is Sri Lanka. But thank you for comments. It's very entertaining and don't be so ridiculous! Never underestimate anyone in any vocation

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 22, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

@yohandf1984, thanks for the response. We also have a fantastic off spinner called Roshan Jayatissa who averages below 15. Type his name and search. Our future spinners also include Sachithra Senanayake. Other good batsmen also are Bhanuka Rajapakse and Angelo Perera. Good future fast bowler is also Chathuranga Kumara. So you are correct.

Posted by yohandf1984 on (December 22, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid - you r utterly wrong man . we Sri iLanka have lots of young prospects . Mathews who can chase a target of 240 from being 110/8 with tail -enders . Chandimal who is positive and able wicket keeper . Already scored an ODI ton at Lords . Thirimanne who is cool headed enough play under pressure . Jewan mendis - have good 5-7 years left of him as a all rounder . Dimuth Karunarathne who is shaping well to be a long term all rounder . Thisara perera . already hv ODI hatrick and thumped South africa in ODI . Akila danajaya who impresed in games played in WT20 . Dilshan munaweera who will get better as future T20 opener . Shaminda eranga who can swing both ways will get better . So i have pointed 9 guys and we have seasoned campaigners like Tharanga , A Mendis , Kulasekara , and even Malinga in shorter formats . So anybody except retards can understand SL s cricketing future is not bleak .

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

If the Lankan team cant win a test match with Clarke and Ponting absent in the AUS team,they are not fit enough to play cricket at all.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

@Pamith Kodikara Do u expect the current SL team has young prospects?? you must be joking.After sanga and mahela, SL will have to play with the associate nations.They cant offer any quality cricket.No one will watch substandard stuffs.No tv broadcaster will come to broadcast any Lankan game.You people can better shift interests to any other game you lankan fans.You dont have a future here

Posted by charithdasun on (December 22, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

It is very good idea from dille to quit.It definitly give chance to young players like chandimal,thirimanne even banuka rajapaksha to play consistently games for SriLanka.You can't expect them to be good as mahela or sanga.You need to give to them time .Even mahela started he isn't great at all I still remember when joyasooriya got out he just struggled in the middle order.I think mahela and sanga is the most blamed person in 2003 world cup.But slectors kept them in the team and they delivered.So you can't say the youngsters are poor without giving them resonable chance.But to me where srilanka would struggle is in their face attack.Like india they can't produce a genuine fast bowler.They just keep producing these mediocre bowlers.I can't think they will able to prouduce young bowlers like Junid Khan(Pak),Trent Bolt(NZ) in the future.Only pakistan team has the ability keep producing these terrific fast bowlers from subcontinent

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

@Salarzai Zalmai Agree with you.But SL will be worse than Bermuda,China and even Iran,without sanga,mahela and dilshan.NZ deserve far better respect than a comparison with SL for having won a test match and drawn a test series against SL at SL.NZ have some genuine upcoming talents.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 22, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Everyone have weakness. When compared to sehwag , dilshan is consistent and mentally strong in a sense he play for his country more than for pure entertainment. More calculative than sehwag. sehwag do have cleanest beautiful stroke. Dilshan has more jerky stroke. Dilshan should play until 42. Srilanka needs him more than jaywardene in overseas tour.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

take out sanga, mahela and dilshan, srilanka is similar or maybe worse than New Zealand cricket team.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Wow I can't believe the people who are calling for Sanga and Mahela to retire. Why should they retire?? what have they done wrong? They have provided so many wins and has done tremendous service to this country. Just because they run into a bad path you call them to retire? we are not Indians to do that. @gnanzcupid Thats what most people said when sanath , aravinda retired. There is good talent in the SL team and I doubt there would be any serious slumps.

Posted by Buckers410 on (December 22, 2012, 3:34 GMT)

@ShehanJ, Malinga retired because of a career threatening injury, not for the money, SL is lucky to have him at all.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 22, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

Alas. What will the lankans do after mahela sanga and dilshan retire?every other country has most promising batsmen other than this lankan team. Those who counter this statement giving examples of mathews,samara and thirimane are definitely joking

Posted by SINGHA2020 on (December 22, 2012, 2:29 GMT)

While it is commendable that Sri Lanka wants to promote youngsters, they must first prove that they can perform under intense pressure - just like Dilshan, Kumar and Mahela. Talented batsmen are a "dime a dozen". Batsmen with "Tendulkar type" temperaments are NOT! With the exception of Chandimal, few of the youngsters have show the ability to score centuries on a consistent basis. To compete with teams like Australia or South Africa, Sri Lanka needs EXCEPTIONAL TALENT - not also rans!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

There is a tendency in Indian and Sri Lankan commentators to eulogize the individual, and neglect the common team cause of winning. Despite the phalanx of super stars, how many tests have Sri Lanka won in Australia [ Answer: 0], India [ Answer:0], New Zealand, West Indies etc? What is a team sport for?

Posted by skkh on (December 22, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

Opinions differ with different persons. My opinion of him is that he is a good player an entertainer like Warner and Sehwag but I can never consider him "great". For me Mahela is a class apart and probably the best Sri Lankan batsman today, but then that is my personal opinion and I do not expect everyone agreeing to it. All said and done kudos on a good career and thanks for everything mate. It is worth mentioning that it is great to bid adios when people ask why now? unlike some truly great batsman of today still lingering on, on past laurels, when the world is asking when? when? when?

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 21, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

@ShehanJ Comon mate he is already 37. I already made mind to retire after the Australian tour. Its selfless decison from dilshan. So now we got a chance to groom a youngster. If all our seniors retire at the same time, we will be in a similar situation like India.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 21, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

A great player but hasn't been at the level he was at last year. He just needs to player straighter early on and apply method to his shot selection, and he'll be back to his best soon.

Posted by Jay.Raj on (December 21, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

He always had the talent and it was burried by not giving him enough oppurtunities early in the career. he was never a number 6 batsman. He shouldve opened with sanath early in his career and he wouldve had a similar or better record as sehwag

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

damn, Mahela is the one should retire, not Dili. Useless Mahela and selfish Sangakkara should stop playing cricket.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 21, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

We are going to miss his aggressive batting for sure. I expect him to play until the 2015 worldcup in the ODIs.

Posted by ShehanJ on (December 21, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

Bangladesh Premier League 2013 Auction. Tillekaratne Dilshan sold to Dhaka Gladiators for $75,000. Ha haa...maybe this was one reason for Dilshans to retire from test cricket? He also plays for India's IPL. Lasith Malinga was sold to Dhaka Gladiators for $115,000. In the future we will find more and more cricketers opting out of test cricket only to play ODIs and T20s, because that is where the money is. Lasith Malinga is a good example.

Posted by SanSL5 on (December 21, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Dilly shouldn't retire now. He should wait till Dimuth Karunaratne or some other player becomes a solid opener. He should play for at least one more year.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 21, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

Dilshan is an entertainer. Fits for odi and t20 perfectly. But after his retirement along with sanga and mahela,sl will become a team like kenya

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (December 21, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

Everyone is retiring. I may soon have to retire from Cricinfo posting at this rate.

Posted by jerryman on (December 21, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

was an attacking player .. think dilshan, mahela and sanga should now call it quits in Tests ... let the younger players get groomed in this format ... Sanga shud also call it quits in t20s and just concentate in 50 overs... but kudos to the many great innings played for their homeland .. no point in dragging their test careers like tendulkar for personal milestones.. good luck to the trio of players , replacements could be Thirimanne, chandimal & mdk perera .. just players in their peak of form,should be selected .forget politics.. think sanga shud get involved in the administration duties for the SL cricket board..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft , mate are you really sure about your figures?? Who is the best batsmen played well out side SL ?? What do you think about last VB series in Australia and previous ODI s in Australia ?? Mahela acored 5 Hundreds in England, 2 in Australia, 3 in WI and 1 In NZ. Check his ODI records out side SL. Cricket is cricket... Mahela & Dilshan are match winners. Aravinda's avg is just 43 in Test cricket after scoring 11 hundreds in Sri Lanka in 1997. So how you can rate him as a best batsmen ????Roy Dias are you kidding ???

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

Another 'no nonsense' cricketer. Just goes on about his job giving a 100% to every team he represents. A brilliant fielder and attacking batsman following the great Sanath Jayasuriya. SL will miss him in test cricket. I don't see any player in SL as good as Dilshan. This goes to show how selfless and team oriented this man is. Obviously, he's looking at SL's future and trying to help a young player to get into the team. I am glad he's still going to play ODI and T20 cricket. Will he play during WC 2015 ?

Posted by DilumSL on (December 21, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

one of my all time favorite. not because of his attacking batting style or his part time spin or his outstanding fielding. It's his toughness and commitment that makes him a legend. he is 36 years of age and he has to be the only player who fielded at point at that age. But it is a very good decision to retire from test cricket be cause a youngster needs take his place someday. THANK YOU Dilshan ... will miss you for sure

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 21, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

I personnaly feel it is the right time for Dilshan to retire from the test cricket due to following reasons. 1. He is now, atop on his performance curve. 2. Considering SL test schedule in 2013. 3. Allow youngsters like Chandi, Thrimanne & Dimuth to give more options to play & cement their position in the team while Sanga & Mahela are there 4. Their should be sufficient time periods between the retirement of Dili, Mahela & Sanga. (Happy to see & appreciate that Dili has taken the farsighted initiative first) 5. We want Dili's form in shorter formats untill the 2015 world Cup.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 21, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

He was very busy in the field where ever he were & what ever he did either batting, bowling or fielding. One of the most favourite cricketer of me. Definitely, it should be highly appreciated his dedication, commitment & mental stability during his carreer. He is still like a teenager in the field & highly committed towards his tasks. He has improved lot when compared with his begining due to his firm determination. We really appreciate your contribution to the Sr Lanka cricket.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

ur are the best our player.............come on

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 21, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Thanks a lot for your contribution to SL cricket. Hope to you see your cover drives in the shorter formats for the next year or 2.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

hats off for him going when your at your best and opening path for chandimal and co

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 21, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

@6pack...Mahela is not really a top notch cricketer. Dilshan is better. If you look at what Mahela did in Australia and South Africa in test matches you would understand Mahela in 17 years of his career has not yet found a way to succeed against good sides in their own backyards. He scored a test century in Australia after the defeat became imminent in I think 2007/08 but I think he couldn't achieve even that in SA; remember the way he struggled in the last tour to SA? His record is badly lopsided with heavy skewing towards runs against India, New Zealand etc and runs at home. So the ranking should be 1.Sanga 2.Aravinda 3.Dilshan 4.Roy Diaz 5.Sunil Wettimuny 6.Sanath. Mahela shouldn't be among the top Sri Lankan batsmen. Even Thilan Samarweera and Hashan Tilakaratna are better.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Thankzz dilii..we miss you!! still remeber 3 innings from you 1.against NZ(dili 1st inning as a opener) 2.194 in loards 3.147 in horbart

Posted by Arpra on (December 21, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

The cover drives for the 3 were described perfectly...

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 21, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

Dilshan is a prolific player, but remained underrated by media. He is a match winner like Ponting, Lara, Izamam, Younis,Cook, Trott, Dravid, Dhoni. I hope he will continue to provide entertaining cricket.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

he is still the best fielder on the field..Don't understand why he has taken this decision,he can play till next world cup Please Dilly Think again....

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

oh god we gonna miss another complete guy.he brilliant in batting bowling and fielding.even he wicket keep and also captain the SL team.proud of you always.you are really a one of best in world cricket we gonna miss you in white colors

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Thanks Dilshan. We will Miss You !

Posted by tappee74 on (December 21, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Of the bunch that has aged,none is as mellow as Shivnarine Chanderpaul.He is close to thirty nine and has gotten more productive.In the year 2012 he has an avg: of 98 in test matches.In the just concluded series against Bangladesh his test avg:has been 364. Its a shame not to see him in the OD.

Posted by 6pack on (December 21, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

When he first appeared for SL I never did believe that Dilshan was worthy of a long career - He seemed a bits and pieces player, suited to scoring 30's at No 6 and bowling a few overs. But he has surged to such heights, that I will be sad to see him go. Scoring hundreds at home is nothing, but to score them in SA, Australia, England and the like - puts him up there with some of the other fantastic SL batsmen. Aravinda, Kumar and Mahels may round up that group of top SL batsmen (of course they are a notch higher than Dilshan). Now if SL can only win a tests down under!

Posted by lukecannon on (December 21, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

Fans are going to miss that booming cover drive. Good luck in the next 2 Tests Dilshan.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 21, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

@skkh I suppose that could be discussed forever and a million cricket fans will have a million different views. He is a favourite of mine so I am completely biased but I will settle for "great" but with a legendary strike-rate.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

top top player and I think him retiring from tests and concentrating on limited overs for a few more years will do the good for him and his team so that way, he won't be leaving that big of a hole. He can use his experience to guide the youngsters so they are not under that much pressure in replicating what Dilshan has achieved. Besides, Sri Lanka next 2 test series are against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe so no really need to use him.

Posted by KingOwl on (December 21, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Dilshan is a great asset to SL and it would be a great loss when he leaves. He may not have the sheer statistical weight of Mahela and Sanga. But he is mentally much tougher than Mahela and probably more than Sanga too, and he can change the complexion of games that the other two senior batsmen cannot. Sanga is great as a defender. Dilshan is great in offense. I do not see anybody in the emerging team who can fill that hole at the top of the order, unfortunately.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Nice piece on a unique batsman. We can enjoy him while we can. Dilshan will be a great loss to Test cricket. It's always illuminating to see such a dextrous athlete in full flight.

Posted by skkh on (December 21, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

WheresTheEmpire...mentioning Dilshan as a legend is a little tall mate.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (December 21, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Dilshan is one of my favorite player in the Sri Lankan Test line up today. Though he had many rise and falls during his 13 year career , his reemergence as an Opener fulfilled the emptiness of Sanath Jayasuriya's Retirement specially in Test Cricket. He is not only a good batsmen, fielder & bowler; he makes up the mentality of whole team with his fighting abilities. I am sure his retirement will be a big headache for the team selectors in near future. Anyway we need to realize the noble truth of "Nothing last for ever". Good Luck Dilly.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 21, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

I can never understand why the media are so keen to bury cricket legends such as Sachin, Ricky and now Tillakaratne while they are not only still breathing but well and truly alive. Dilshan is in sparkling form and will retire when he or the selectors decide it is time. All these "should he retire" reports are repetitive and boring.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 21, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

I loved that innings in Hobart. We saw quite a bit of that wood chopping cover drive in that knock. He seems to get on a roll and if you're not careful it can escalate into a bit of a feeding frenzy. .. looks to be a cool dude too. ... you guys have got some good batsmen and if 2 or 3 of them fire in the same innings it would mean a very big score. .. if Dilly does retire, I'm glad I got to see that innings and look forward to some more of his unique strokeplay in Melb. & Sydney.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 21, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

"Dilshan may not be around in whites beyond the Sydney Test". OMG! How can i make my mind up? "Nothing is permanent, nothing is permanent, nothing is permanent"

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