Dilshan scoops out irritating incidents
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Just after the illustrious cricketing career which spanned for nearly two decades performing yeoman service as an all-rounder in all formats of the game to the country, TM Dilshan the architect of the ‘Dilscoop’ cricket stroke that embossed his patent on the most talked about new stroke in cricket, but not given much publicity.
Even Dilshan himself may not have known that he had such abundant crazy fans scattered island wide when fans thronged to the Pallekelle International stadium as well as the R. Premadasa International Stadium in their colossal numbers to accord him a supreme exit. The manner fans behaved at these grounds with placards was ample testimony to his gigantic popularity. The fans gave him a reception hitherto no other player had received in the annals of our cricketing narration.
As all cricket fans would know that there was no sponsorship from Sri Lanka Cricket for his farewell unlike given to some senior cricketers who quit in the recent past. He confessed they do not need to hoist flags in Colombo and such similar fanfares. But he was contented to get a warm send off by his huge number of passionate fans. Many former players before quitting were kept lifted by the media but he quipped that he is a cricketer who does not require such facelifts, also does not like to resort to such low strategies as he was confident that during his tenure, he had performed to his utmost to uplift the image of the country and had not performed for personal gains but had won the hearts of so many fans.
Dilshan, it is reliably learned, was instrumental in bringing many talented youngsters like Thisara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Seekkuge Prasanna and others who were performing well in domestic tournaments into the squad. At that moment the seniors then had not liked it. He said he was very happy to have played under the captaincy of Chandimal, whom he had brought in, in his farewell appearance.
When questioned whether he was happy during his tenure in the Sri Lanka team, Dilshan’s answer was that he had a lot of annoying and bothersome times. For reasons not disclosed he said that with a number of senior players he had not spoken with for a number of years. He had dealings with them only when discharging duties for the country on the field inside the boundary line only. He says, to play for the country one should have lucid psyche in focus particularly when facing a bowler hurling at 150 kmh. At a T20 international in Pallekelle, Dilshan hoisted Aussie paceman Shaun Tait over the keeper for two huge sixes with his ‘dilscoop’. The Aussie commentator Michael Slater called it ‘stupid’ but yet ‘bold’. He was more concerned in performing his best in the middle and not interested in taking such qualms on to the cricket field.
After accepting the captaincy in the 2010 decade, when many seniors had bid farewell, he was determined to perform at his crest as he was adamant to serve his motherland. He hunted to build a new unit by bringing in raw talent. Even when his name was proposed as skipper senior players had questioned how Dilshan could captain as he is sporting earrings a peculiar beard.
After a successful tenure the Chairman of Selectors then had called him and told to resign from the captaincy for no special reason. Without challenging Dilshan had within an hour sent his resignation letter to the SLC. He had been surprised as once again Mahela Jayawardene was appointed as skipper. To his astonishment and dismay after six months the captaincy had been handed over to Angelo Mathews. This too Dilshan had said were underhand conspires. Angelo Mathews had not bowled during the tenure of Dilshan’s captaincy but had opted to bowl under Mahela.
The innovative ‘Dilscoop’, that was inscribed to the cricket books as a new stroke, was not applauded by many senior players. They were obviously jealous as Dilshan’s name was to be inscribed in cricket books. They had said only people who have no brains play such strokes calling starfish etc.
During the T20 World Cup the International Cricket Council had wanted to suggest some names for the stroke invented by Dilshan. The former England captain Nassar Hussein had asked Dilshan if he likes to name it ‘Dilscoop’. Dilshan without the least pause had said he likes.
These are some of the countless frustrations that Tillkeratne Dilshan had to facade and trounce during most part of his flourishing cricketing career. Dilshan had quipped that it was his mental robustness that allowed him to accomplish well in spite of all these conspiracies.