Sri Lanka news January 23, 2012

Dilshan quits as Sri Lanka captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tillakaratne Dilshan has stepped down as Sri Lanka captain in all three formats, a day after the ODI series against South Africa concluded.

"Dilshan has resigned as Captain in all three formats of the game," a Sri Lanka Cricket release stated. "Members of the Executive committee take this opportunity to thank Dilshan for his commitment and dedication during his tenure as the National Captain. We also wish him well as he continues to represent Sri Lanka as a National Player."

Dilshan took over as captain from Kumar Sangakkara after the 2011 World Cup, led his team on tours to England, the UAE [against Pakistan] and South Africa and at home against Australia. His captaincy came under severe criticism as Sri Lanka lost both the Test and ODI series against all the four countries.

Dilshan's form with the bat dipped during his captaincy as well and despite a historic Test win in Durban, Sri Lanka's first in South Africa, the loss in the Test series as well as the five-match ODI series put him under added pressure.

Sri Lanka Cricket was expected to offer the captaincy to Mahela Jayawardene, who said he will take some time to think over it after the offer was made.

Dilshan led Sri Lanka in 11 Tests since May 2011, of which his team won one Test and lost five. His own average during his tenure was 33.60, as opposed to his overall average of 40.89. In the same period, he led in 21 ODIs, winning eight and losing 13. His batting suffered more on the ODI front, as he averaged 20.95 in comparison to his overall figure of 34.68.

Dilshan's resignation has become part of a series of changes in Sri Lanka's leadership during and since the tour to South Africa. SLC appointed a new selection panel with Ashantha de Mel as chairman, replacing the one led by Duleep Mendis, and Geoff Marsh is to be replaced as coach by South African Graham Ford.

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