Sri Lanka appoint new captain

Tillakaratne Dilshan has been announced as Sri Lanka's captain following their defeat to India in the 2011 World Cup.

    Sri Lanka will hope that changes at all levels will help them achieve victory over India next time round [GALLO/GETTY]

    Sri Lanka’s cricket board have appointed Tillakaratne Dilshan as captain following the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara.

    Skipper Sangakkara and vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene quit after Sri Lanka's defeat to India in the World Cup final in April.

    Dilshan will captain for all three formats of the game and will also be at the helm for Sri Lanka’s tour of England next month. A new selection committee led by former captain and administrator Duleep Mendis has been appointed.

    The man behind the 'Dilscoop'

    Dilshan has led his country once before, during last June's tour of Zimbabwe, when his team won the final of a one-day tri-series which also featured India.

    He has played 66 Test matches, scoring 3,990 runs at more than 42 runs per innings. In 203 one-day internationals, Dilshan has scored 5,456 runs and taken 62 wickets.

    Having been an inconsistent middle-order batsman, Dilshan's performances improved after he was promoted to open the batting.

    Sri Lanka’s new captain is also infamous for popularising the 'Dilscoop' - a scoop over the wicketkeeper's head - at the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009, when Sri Lanka were losing finalists and Dilshan was named as player of the tournament.

    Sri Lanka Cricket said on Monday that selectors have postponed naming a vice-captain because prospective candidates are nursing injuries and may not be available for the tour of England. All-rounder Anjelo Mathews is in the running for the position.

    Selection committee leader Duleep Mendis said that one of Dilshan’s main tasks will be to look for younger talent capable of taking over from current stalwarts like Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera, who are nearing their mid-thirties and are unlikely to be at their prime at the next World Cup.

    Sri Lanka v the IPL

    The changes come amid a debate in Sri Lanka over the sports minister's order to national cricketers playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League to return early to prepare for the English tour.

    Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said national team duties must be a priority over playing in the IPL.

    Dilshan, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv are among the players who may be compelled to return early.

    Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired from international cricket after the World Cup and is not bound by a contract with SLC, has criticised Sri Lanka's decision.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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