Colombo - Sri Lanka batting legend Tillekaratne Dilshan has
revealed that his decision to retire from the international game was not a
thought-out one, but rather a spontaneous revelation.
Dilshan played his final ODI for Sri Lanka on Sunday, in a
two-wicket defeat to Australia, and will play two more T20s before hanging up
his international gloves for good. He will not play in the last two ODIs of the
He said that while he felt able to continue, he woke up one
morning and thought that sticking around would be detrimental to the team. He
would rather step aside and allow younger players enough time to settle.
Dilshan said: "I hadn't planned to retire, before the
series. Whether someone tells me to keep playing or stop playing, that's not
what's important. What is important is what I feel.
"I started the series thinking that I'll play for
another year - at least in T20 cricket. But when I woke up on the 25th I felt
that it was time to go.
"To be honest I could easily play for another year or
two. But we have to look to the future. If I play for another two years and
leave, there's only 18 months before the next World Cup and that's unfair to
"A young player could be blooded in that time. Since I
started opening six years ago, we haven't found a permanent partner for me.
I've opened with about 10 people - so that's a problematic area for us.
"If I keep playing we won't be able to get two batsmen
settled in that place. I'll be able to get some rest."
He was not completely serene in his retirement though, and
spoke about how poorly he felt he was treated when he was captain in 2012. He
even criticised current skipper Angelo Mathews, who Dilshan felt should have
bowled more when he was skipper.
Dilshan added: "I didn't actually plan to take the
captaincy (in 2011), but the SLC president asked me to take over for six months
until we find someone else.
"Unfortunately, we had also lost two bowlers. Murali
[Muttiah Muralitharan] had retired. Nuwan Kulasekara was injured. Ajantha
Mendis was injured. I didn't have great resources.
"Angelo Mathews had a calf injury for a year that
stopped him from bowling. That must be because of my misfortune, because after
I had stepped down, we went to Australia after a week.
"In that week, Mathews started bowling. That must be
because of Mahela's good fortune."