We bode farewell to one of the most exciting batsmen in world cricket, Tillakaratne Dilshan. He’s our Legend of the Week, brought to you by Aquavita.
Powerful opening batsman Dilshan, who announced his retirement from both T20s and ODIs last week, played his final ODI against Australia on Sunday.
Known for his innovation, aggression and maticulous timing of the ball, the former Sri-Lanka captain invented one of the most popular shots in cricket today, nicknamed the ‘dilscoop’ after its creator. The dilscoop, aka the ramp shot, made its debut at the 2009 World T20 where Dilshan left pundits in awe with his new invention, shocking players and supporters alike. His flamboyant style and aggressive nature insured an exciting brand of cricket by reducing the amount of defensive shots in his game which left supporters feeling well entertained after seeing him in action.
The all-rounder is well decorated and picked up the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year award at the 2009 ICC Awards for his 96 off 57 balls against West Indies in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in England. His performance also helped him pick up the Man of the Series trophy for his individual batting performances in the same tournament. He scored 317 runs with a high score of 96 not out at an average of 52.83, earning the most amount of half-centuries (3) in the tournament.
Dilshan proved he was not just a one-off, playing an integral part in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 wining side where he scored 132 runs at an average of 26.40 (14 fours and 3 sixes) with a high score of 55. He also formed part of Sri Lanka’s dominance in big competitions where he helped them reach the finals in the 2007 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20.
Dilshan has had quite a remarkable career in Tests and ODIs, as well as obtaining the captaincy in 2011 in all formats of the game. Overall, he played 87 Tests scoring 5 492 (16 centuries and 23 half-centuries) at a strike rate of 65.54. In ODIs he boasts a remarkable record playing 330 matches, scoring 10 290 runs (27 centuries, 47 half-centuries) at a strike rate of 86,23.
Tillakaratne Dilshan is a cricketer who will be dearly missed once he hangs up his boots after Sri Lanka’s T20 against Australia on 9 September, making him a worthy pick for Legend of the Week.