Dilshan named the new Sri Lankan captain

Zeecric Bureau

Colombo: Veteran batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was named as the Sri Lankan cricket captain for the tour of England following the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara after his team’s loss to India in the World Cup final on the 2nd of April.

Dilshan was effective with the bat during the tournament and he is said to command the respect of his teammates including seniors like Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

"Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is proud to announce the appointment of TM Dilshan as the national captain in all three formats of the game for Sri Lanka`s tour of England in May 2011," a Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) statement said.

The selectors, however, have not named a vice-captain for the tour because "the prospective candidates are nursing injuries, and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question."

Sangakkara had resigned from the post of Sri Lanka captain a few days after his team`s loss to India in the final of the World Cup, their second successive loss in the title clash of the quadrennial extravaganza.

A day later, vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and all the national selectors also resigned from their respective posts.

The 34-year-old Dilshan, currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore, had previously led Sri Lanka in two Twenty2O internationals in 2008 and 2009, and also during a five-match ODI series in Zimbabwe in 2010.

The big-hitting opener`s appointment to the top post ended the speculation over whether he, or the 23-year-old all-rounder Angelo Mathews, would be named as Sangakkara`s immediate successor.

With exactly 500 runs under his belt, Dilshan was also the highest run-scorer in the 2011 World Cup, surpassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, player-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh and Sangakkara.

Dilshan has till date represented Sri Lanka in 66 Tests and scored 3990 runs at an average of 42.44 with 11 centuries and 16 half fifties to his credit.

In 203 ODIs, Dilshan has accumulated 5456 runs at an average of 36.61 with 160 being his highest score. He has also played 32 Twenty20 Internationals for Sri Lanka.

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