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Tillakaratne Dilshan to quit Tests

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

October 9, 2013

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Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates his 16th Test century, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day, March 12, 2013
Tillakaratne Dilshan was planning to sign off after the Zimbabwe Tests © AFP

Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is set to retire from Test cricket. A Sri Lanka Cricket media release on Wednesday stated that Dilshan will hold a press conference on Thursday to make a formal announcement.

"I have taken this decision to allow Sri Lanka Cricket to groom another youngster in my place," Dilshan, 36, said on Wednesday. "I was to announce my retirement after the Zimbabwe Test series but unfortunately the tour was postponed."

Sri Lanka was to tour Zimbabwe from October and the tour itinerary included two Tests. The aggressive opener made his Test debut in 1999 against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo and scored 163 in his second match. In a Test career spanning 14 years, Dilshan played 87 Tests and scored 5492 runs at an average of 40.98.

His 16 Test centuries included a career-best 193 against England at Lord's in 2011 as captain.

Dilshan will continue to play in the shorter formats for his country, however. "I will discuss my future with the national selectors and if they need me I will play till the 2015 World Cup," Dilshan said.

Dilshan had suggested he was nearing the end of his Test career as early as December last year, during the Australia Test series, in which he made the highest score, with 147 in Hobart. He had also hit a hundred in Galle, during his last Test series in March.

He is the first of the three senior players to quit Tests, and his departure will create further problems for Sri Lanka at the top of the order, where Sri Lanka have struggled to find a consistent opening partner for him in recent years.

Dimuth Karunaratne has shown promise in that position during the last year, but with the selectors having seemingly jettisoned Tharanga Paranavitana and Upul Tharanga from their long-term plan for Tests, Sri Lanka will now likely have to blood another opener, before Karunaratne has secured his place in the team.

With seven away Tests approaching in the first half of 2013, Dilshan's retirement will place added pressure on Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, with middle-order batsmen Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal also in the early stages of their Test careers.

Sri Lanka also lose their best fielder in Dilshan, as well as an off-spin option. He has 39 Test wickets at an average of 43.87.

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Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

I was at Lords when he made 193 in 2011. Dilshan been Dilshan as he took consecutive boundaries off Swann and Tremlett, reaching his 150 off 192 balls while still recovering from a fractured thumb. It was not too long before he got another Tremlett short ball onto the injured thumb as he collapsed to his knees in pain. Two balls later, man in pain was castled by Finn. It was the silence that was the loudest, everyone in the ground was standing. Respect!

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

please dont think where is from and what country did he play not critizes him...he was a great all rounder for world cricket.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

This is something which is not expected by some star players. Test cricket is the real cricket to me and retire from the Test Cricket and focusing on T20 and One day in quite stupid thought. Malinga did the same last year and now Dilshan. Players from England and Australia are retiring from the T20 and one dayers to manager and focus more on test cricket. If we focus on some statistics S. Harmison (Eng) played 63 tests and 58 ODI and G. Thorpe played 100 tests and 82 ODI. so the statistics of Asian players are quite opposite to the Australians and UK players and they are playing more Test matches thn the One Day internationals and T20s. Really wanted to see players focus more on Tests rather thn ODI and T20 at the end Good Luck to Dilshaan great ambassador for Srilankan Cricket.

Posted by Htc-Android on (October 10, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

It was a wise decision from Dilshan. He will be more important in limited overs cricket than test cricket. I hope Kaushal Silva gets a game.

Posted by RuwanFer on (October 10, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

According to some local TV news, he wanted to retire from test about a year ago but played until now on request of the selectors.

Posted by AKS286 on (October 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

A Retirement is always an emotional situation for a player and for fans from all over the world. He is a good cricketer, handy with ball and fully capable to bat in all gears. As he said he vacant a place for youngsters so batsmen like Tharanga, Warnapura, etc has to grab this opportunity and cement their place. Good wishes for Dilshan !

Posted by stormy16 on (October 10, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

A loss for SL and hopefully an opportunity for another star. Ironically Dilshan was never supposed to be an opening batter but became an entertainer in that spot and a great all round cricketer when you consider he has kept wickets in test! He is close to one of the best one day players with excellent skills in all three areas but most of all he lived on the edge. Some including myself at times called it irresponsible and lack of technique but that was Dilshan's way and to his credit, never really changed his style of play. SL will miss him big time as players like Dilshan don't come along everyday. It's a huge in the SL team and well done to Dilshan for years of service and entertainment.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 10, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

Give credit to Dougie Marillier which is due. For new generation people, go and search about 'Marillier shot' in wikipedia.

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