Tillakaratne Dilshan’s sorry stay with Derbyshire is over. After being left out of the side for the current LV County Championship match against Kent, the 38-year-old has gone home to Sri Lanka and will not be coming back, though elite performance director Graeme Welch says there are no hard feelings on either side.
Dilshan’s brief time as Derbyshire’s overseas signing has to go down as a huge failure. He scored only 69 runs in six Championship innings, hit one 50 in five NatWest t20 Blast games and averaged 8.66 in three Royal London Cup matches.
But he has the record of one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, with over 14,000 List A runs, just short of the same tally in the first-class game and eye-catching numbers in t20s. It just didn’t work out for him at Derbyshire and Welch said that could not be predicted.
“I decided that we had four Championship games left, couldn’t win promotion and we would benefit more from giving the kids some experience,” he said.
“Dilshan had not exactly been tearing it up for us so I called him to say would he mind if we didn’t play him against Kent. He said alright and has gone home.
“It was all very amicable. He was happy with the situation and it’s best for us as well.
“When you sign one of the legends of the game you don’t expect him to struggle so badly but he went to the Caribbean Premier League, which was not ideal because he was playing on different pitches altogether and he was all over the place when he got back.
“Obviously, you want more runs but he has been really good around the changing room and has given us a lot of good input. He has fitted in well and the lads have benefitted from having him around.
“People might say bringing him here was a waste of money but if I had told them at the start of the season they would have the chance to watch Martin Guptill, Hashim Amla and Tillakaratne Dilshan playing for Derbyshire I would have got a round of applause.” (Courtesy derbytelegraph.co.uk)