Ex-Sri Lanka captain Taillakaratne Dilshan is the latest Sri Lanka player to link up with the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League after agreeing to take over from the injured Martin Guptill for the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The dynamic right-hander, who has played for the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, steps in for Guptill, who broke a bone in his right hand against the Antigua Hawksbills on Saturday night.
Dilshan, 36, is the fifth top-class Sri Lanka star to sign up for the event, following on from Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara (Jamaica Tallawahs), Mahela Jayawardena (Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel) and Lasith Malinga (Guyana Amazon Warriors).
Dilshan has a wealth of experience with 87 Tests, 267 One-Day Internationals and 50 Twenty20 Internationals to his name.
He has scored 34 international hundreds, including one in T20Is, against Australia in Pallekele in 2011. That innings, an unbeaten 104, occupied just 57 balls and included 12 fours and five sixes.
Dilshan was also named player of the tournament in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 when Sri Lanka finished as runners-up to Pakistan and during that event he pioneered the shot that has become known as the “Dil-scoop”, an audacious flick-cum-sweep over both his and the wicketkeeper’s heads.
In addition to his blazing batting, Dilshan has also shown himself to be a canny operator with the ball. He has 35 wickets in Twenty20 cricket and a total of 120 wickets in internationals.
Guyana Amazon Warriors coach Roger Harper said, “While it is sad to lose a player of Martin Guptill’s ability at this stage of the tournament, we are delighted to have secured a top-quality replacement in Tillakaratne Dilshan.
“He offers so much to any side he plays for, as an attacking batsman, a useful bowler and also someone who is outstanding in the field. We look forward to him linking up with us for Thursday’s semi-final and his big-match experience will be a great asset to us.”
The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League final if on Saturday with the two semi-finals on Thursday and Friday, all in Trinidad.
Thursday’s semi is between the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
Friday’s semi is between Jamaica Tallawahs and Barbados Tridents.