Mumbai: When the name Tillakaratne Dilshan flashes, we can’t help but replay the innovative ways in which he butchered the fast bowlers and made them eat a humble pie.
Despite him being one of first to embrace T20 culture with unorthodox shots that made even the most traditional pundits be in his awe, the former Sri Lankan opener and Man of the Tournament for 2009 T20 World Cup feels that too much of innovation won’t help cricket grow in the long run.
“Every year new rules are coming and they are trying to change everything. It is time we stick to one set of rules and persist with it for at least 5-10 years without trying to change it every year. Or else there is going to be another mix-up (like that of 2019 World Cup final) which I think is not good for cricket. If we want to improvise in some aspects, I am not against it but it should not be tweaked again and again.”
Calling the result of the 2019 World Cup final ‘unfair’, which England went on to win as they had hit more boundaries (26 to New Zealand's 17) after Super Over was tied at 15 runs, Dilshan said that he was happy as the boundary count rule was now scrapped but also rued that the deed was already done.
“It is definitely unfair but rule was added before the tournament so it would have been impossible to have it changed.” And honestly, who would have thought that it might even come into play. “There is nothing we can do but at least now that the change has happened, in future, teams will be spared of such a rule.”
Dilshan was speaking to The Free Press Journal on the sidelines of the Road Safety World Series on Thursday. Organised by Professional Management Group and Road Safety Cell of the Maharashtra government, the league will feature five teams — India Legends, Australia Legends, South Africa Legends, Sri Lanka Legends and West Indies Legends with an aim to create road safety awareness.
The 43-year-old also spoke his mind over top teams playing day-night Tests, saying he prefers Test cricket in its original form.
"I don’t think you should play day-night. Test cricket should be played only in daylight and in full whites, without numbers on the back. That’s a personal view. We should keep it simple. It’s the main format. I feel Test cricket should be played in the traditional way, just like the gentleman’s game,” Dilshan, who played 87 Tests for Sri Lanka, said.
Dilshan warns Lee to not bowl fast
When The Free Press Journal asked Dilshan whether he is willing to take a risk and hit the Australian pacer Brett Lee for sixes with his trademark ‘Dilscoop’ during the world series, he quipped and said, “If he bowls fast then definitely yes! I am more confident of my Dilscoop and I might use it for this tournament. I am not so young to play such a shot now but I will challenge Bret Lee and might play the Dilscoop if people want to see.”
The former Sri Lankan captain also shared his secret as to why he was more successful playing the particular shot as compared to others, “Because I have other option as well. Normally batsmen (who attempt it) only go for one option. If ball is full-length, I go for paddle sweep and if ball comes exactly in my area, only then I play the Dilscoop and that’s how I turned it into a successful shot and became Man of the Tournament in 2009 T20 World Cup. I hope to carry on with the same pattern in this world series,” he said.