Tillakaratne Dilshan has informed Sri Lanka Cricket that he will be unavailable for the limited-overs series in England and Ireland, owing to personal issues. The limited-overs squads for England have not yet been named, but Sri Lanka are scheduled to play five ODIs and a T20 international in the country, as well as two ODIs in Dublin soon after the third Test.
The news is a significant blow to the team, as Dilshan has been Sri Lanka’s most-consistent limited-overs batsman over the past two years. In 2015 Dilshan hit 1207 ODI runs at an average of 52.47. That aggregate put him on third on the year’s run-scorers’ list.
His withdrawal also extends the instability Sri Lanka have experienced at the top of their limited-overs batting order. Kusal Perera is expected to open the batting in the shorter formats after being cleared of doping charges, but Sri Lanka will now have to find a partner for him for the series.
Dilshan, now 39, had suggested he was not thinking of limited-overs retirement during the recent World T20. He retired from Tests in late 2013.
The ODIs commence on June 16, in Ireland, before Sri Lanka return to play England. The first match of that series is at Nottingham on June 21. (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)