Tillakaratne Dilshan took a dig at Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews after ending his stellar one-day international career and bemoaned a lack of support.
Tillakaratne Dilshan took a dig at Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews after ending his stellar one-day international career and bemoaned the lack of support he was given during his tenure as skipper.
The flamboyant opening batsman's 330th and final ODI ended in defeat against Australia on Sunday, but the 39-year-old was able to sign off with an entertaining 42 and take a tricky catch.
Dilshan was given a guard of honour by his team-mates when he went out to bat in Dambulla and a rousing reception after he was dismissed.
But the veteran took a swipe at some of those same team-mates and questioned Mathews' conduct, in particular when reflecting on his spell as captain from April 2011 to January the following year.
"I didn't actually plan to take the captaincy, but the SLC [Sri Lanka Cricket] president asked me to take over for six months until we find someone else," said Dilshan.
"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."
Dilshan, who will face Australia in two Twenty20 internationals next month, said the time was right to call time on a long ODI career in which he scored 10,290 runs at an average of 39.27 and made 22 centuries.
He added: "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 the team.
"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."