Tillakaratne Dilshan named Sri Lanka captain

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan has led Sri Lanka once before, on a tour of Zimbabwe in June 2010

Tillakaratne Dilshan has been appointed captain of Sri Lanka for next month's tour of England.

The all-rounder, 34, will lead the side in all formats, succeeding Kumar Sangakkara, who quit after the World Cup final defeat by India in April.

Former captain Marvan Atapattu, 40, has been named batting coach for the tour.

But the selectors have postponed naming a replacement for Mahela Jayawardene as vice-captain because a number of prospective candidates are injured.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews, 23, has been tipped to take over the role, but he is nursing a side strain suffered during the World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand.

Dilshan has led his country once before, during last June's tour of Zimbabwe, when his team won the final of a one-day tri-series which also featured India.

However, he has never previously captained the side in a Test match.

The opening batsman was the leading scorer during the World Cup - which Sri Lanka co-hosted along with India and Bangladesh - with 500 runs at an average of 62.50.

He also took eight wickets at 15.75 with his right-arm off-spin as his side made it to the final before losing by six wickets to India.

His predecessor Sangakkara resigned the captaincy three days after the defeat in Mumbai, citing the need for a younger leader be put in place to guide the side through to the 2015 World Cup.

Sangakkara replaced Jayawardene as captain in March 2009, with the latter reverting to vice-captain.

However, Jayawardene too quit his role in the aftermath of the recent World Cup, after becoming the first player to score a century in the final and end up on the losing side.

The country's four selectors, headed by former national skipper Aravinda de Silva, also resigned after the tournament.

Sangakkara had initially offered to stay on as interim Test captain while a successor was found for the shorter formats.

Dilshan is also famous for popularising the "Dilscoop"external-link - a scoop over the wicketkeeper's head - at the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009, when Sri Lanka were losing finalists and Dilshan was named as player of the tournament.

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