SL play down Shehzad-Dilshan incident
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sri Lanka Cricket are unconcerned about religion-focused comments Ahmed Shehzad had supposedly made to Dilshan following the third ODI, although the PCB has issued Shehzad an official reprimand.
Footage of the teams exiting the field after Sri Lanka's series win supposedly shows Shehzad talking to Dilshan on a matter of religion. Dilshan's reply is inaudible, but Shehzad again allegedly delivers another similar comment before the two part ways and head toward their dressing rooms.
Dilshan said he thought little of the exchange at the time, and will not consider lodging a complaint. "I don't remember even what I said to him," Dilshan said. "I have no issues at all. I was just quite happy with the win at the time." SLC is similarly unfazed, team manager Michael de Zoysa said, and will consider the matter closed.
The PCB were made aware of the exchange after a journalist brought it to their notice, when the footage went viral in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. When the board summoned Shehzad for an explanation on Wednesday, he had said he came to know of Dilshan's religious background during the match, and simply sought a light-hearted discussion. Shehzad said the video only showed part of their exchange, and that he had not wished to offend Dilshan.
Nevertheless, the PCB had set up an inquiry under director of international cricket Zakir Khan. "Shehzad has breached the central contract in which it is clearly written that you will not get involved in any religious spat with others, so there can be disciplinary action against him," PCB chief Shaharyar Khan said.
Born to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother, Dilshan had had the birth-name of Tuwan Mohammad Dilshan, but has since changed his name.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando; Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent