Tillakaratne Dilshan has signed for Surrey as their replacement overseas player until the middle of August. The Sri Lankan star is expected to make his debut in the T20 Blast against Hampshire on Friday.
At 37-years of age this is surprisingly Dilshan's first appearance in county cricket.
Dilshan adds to an array of International stars who have already played for the Oval based side this season. He will replace new South African captain Hashim Amla who was only with the club for a month but he now has International duties with the Proteas to concentrate on. Amla himself replaced former South African captain Graeme Smith who suffered a fractured knee which curtailed his stay with the club and ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
Surrey also have the fantastic skills and experience of Kevin Pietersen to call upon and he and Dilshan could prove a formidable partnership.
Dilshan therefore is another fantastic coup for Surrey's Director of Cricket Alec Stewart. He has amassed a huge amount of International experience having played 87 Test matches, 282 ODIs and 62 T20 games for his country scoring over 15,000 International runs.
Having retired form Test match cricket Dilshan now concentrates on the shorter formats of the game. He joins a Surrey side who currently sit well-placed in third position in the T20 Blast South Group and who will be confident of a good performance in the newly formed Royal London One Day Cup when it begins at the end of July.
During July and August Surrey, along with the other counties, are playing a huge amount of one-day cricket and will feel as though they have a chance of success with Dilshan in their ranks. He is regarded as one of the best players in the World and his innovative stroke play makes him one of the most exciting players to watch.
Dilshan will have his spell with Surrey interrupted in mid-July when he returns to Sri Lankan duty in an ODI series against South Africa but, even though his spell with the club is short, he is sure to add a lot of excitement to both Surrey cricket and domestic cricket in general.
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