So before Tillakaratne Dilshan has even left the building, he has tried to set the place on fire.

There were the veiled accusations about lack of support from team-mates, after his final ODI. "We shouldn't dig up old grievances," he had said at the time. Moments later, he found himself unable to resist digging them up.

In Sinhala interviews since, the beefs have grown in number, and have become less veiled. "Angelo Mathews had an injury for a whole year, under my captaincy," went one complaint. "Why are some team-mates saying the dilscoop is a shot only a brainless cricketer plays?" was another. And "where was the support from the senior players when I hit 193 with a broken hand, at Lord's, and couldn't play the next game?"

When an obviously-injured Mathews came out to bat in the fourth ODI, hobbling between ends, some had thought this the perfect response to Dilshan - a reclaiming of Mathews' man-of-duty brand. Dilshan, though, was probably watching on, thinking, "Oh sure, in his own captaincy, this p***k can play on a torn calf."

If he is leaving a few reputations singed, what did we really expect? It was always the blazes Dilshan started that defined him, and if they spread quickly enough, that defined the games he played. The whirring cover drive set so many tall totals in motion. When the savage pull and atomising sweep were played, the scene was doused in kerosene and matches were lit. On many days, it was because of Dilshan that the middle order got so many runs. It was because he had cleared out an opposition's plans like a fire does a forest, that saner men could put down their roots; watch their own innings grow.

He was mostly a captain's fantasy, but also, occasionally, a nightmare. A nightmare because he was always wanting to bowl, kept asking to field wherever the action was thickest, and because every one of his appeals for lbw were plumb, and the captain would be out-of-this-world stupid for declining to review.

A fantasy because he has won games as batsman, bowler, fielder, and wicketkeeper, and it's a pity he can only be in one place at a time, because if he could be in the stands, he'd be the best fan, or the greatest hot-dog vendor that ever drew breath, and people would be begging to be dragged out of the stadium by him had he become a crowd-control cop.

Dilshan's utopia is a planet full of Dilshans. At the very least, it is a world in which everyone leans into their work with the blinding energy he brings to his. Doesn't that seem an improvement on the world that we are stuck with? It is difficult to argue against.

He is immensely proud of the dilscoop. Others say Douglas Marillier invented it. Dilshan says it was he who made the shot what it now is, pushing the frontiers of batting out a little further, and the man, of course, has got a point. He alone plays it off a length ball, with head bowed, directly over the wicketkeeper, where no fielder will ever stand. It is an opportunist's sucker punch: the picking of cricket's bulging wallet. He was savvy enough in later years, to realise when the opportunity no longer lay in the early overs, when ODI rules changed and two new balls were nipping around. In his 12 ODI hundreds since 2012, Dilshan prospered through the middle of an innings, stealing as many twos as his still-strong legs could manage, mining just about every gap.

He leaves cricket now, at least a year earlier than he really wants to, though he wasn't quite pushed. The selectors had tapped him on the shoulder, but he also knew that at 39, he would need to score twice as many runs as any batsman jostling to replace him. For once, he didn't fancy the fight.

The men he has recently hassled will eventually get over it. In a few months, cricket will have moved on. But what will not be forgotten are the many manic hues of Dilshan. What cannot be erased are the opening berserks that opened up breaches for team-mates, the elastic prowling at backward point, the six World-Cup fours in an over against Mitchell Johnson, and his hijinks - it always felt like hijinks - with the ball. There were mad run-outs, match-defining catches on the boundary off the final ball, and that time he welcomed Shane Bond back to international cricket with four consecutive fours.

It is prosaic to say that Dilshan has merely left us these memories; it's more that he has burned them into our minds.