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Dilshan the chosen one,to lead Lanka

Tillakaratne Dilshan will take over from Kumar Sangakarra as captain of Sri Lanka for next month's tour of England.

Written by Reuters | Colombo | Published: April 19, 2011 3:07:52 am

Tillakaratne Dilshan will take over from Kumar Sangakarra as captain of Sri Lanka for next month’s tour of England. Sangakkara decided to step down after the team lost to India in this month’s World Cup final. “We are proud to announce the appointment of Dilshan as the national captain in all three formats of the game for the tour of England,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement on Monday.

The national selectors have postponed the appointment of a vice-captain since the prospective candidates are nursing injuries and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question. Sangakkara,who resigned with a view of giving the next captain enough time to build a team before the 2015 World Cup,had backed both Dilshan or Angelo Mathews to take over the captaincy.

“If they think Angie (Angelo) is too young then Dilshan will do a good job because he has these little touches for success. Anything he does on the field,he has this little knack,” he said. “I don’t know whether he will be the long-term candidate with his age,but if he keeps himself fit he can easily play the next World Cup.”

Opening batsman Dilshan,34,was the leading run-scorer in the World Cup with 500 at an average of 62.50. He has led Sri Lanka once before,on a tour of Zimbabwe in June last year,when his team won a one-day tri-series which also featured India. This is the first time Dilshan has been picked to lead his country in a Test series.

Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis said the tour squad would be selected after Dilshan returns from the Indian Premier League where he is representing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sri Lanka have told all their IPL players to return home by May 5 to prepare for the tour.

The squad are due to leave for England on May 10 for a series of three tests,five one-dayers and one Twenty20 international. The first Test in Cardiff starts on May 26.

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