Mathews rates Dilshan with Sangakkara and Jayawardene

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Sri Lankan skipper, Angelo Mathews, has rated the contribution of retiring Tillakaratne Dilshan up with legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara ahead of the veteran's final ODI in Dambulla on Sunday.

Dilshan became the fourth Sri Lankan batsman to pass 10,000 runs in ODIs and his total of 22 centuries places him third in those stakes.

Mathews said: "Dilshan has been an absolute brilliant servant for Sri Lankan cricket over the past 17 years,

"I think he has equally done the service that Mahela and Sanga did, and we're going to miss him a lot. Unfortunately, he had called it a day. We respect that decision and the whole team wishes him the very best."

The skipper admitted that replacing the long time servant of Sri Lankan cricket will be no easy task.

Mathews added: "It's going to be a tough task to fill his boots but we've see the youngsters taking lot of responsibility in the recent past,

"We're really thankful to Dilshan and our ambition is to try and win this match for him."

Among those lauding the impact Dilshan has had was former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who described him as a captain's dream.

Ranatunga told the Island: "Dilshan started his career as a middle-order batsman, then he moved on to become an opener,

"Opening the batting is the toughest thing in cricket. There's a lot at stake for an opener and not many players excel in that discipline.

"Dilshan had an outstanding career as an opener in all three formats. He was also a brilliant fielder and an intelligent bowler. All captains wish they have players like Dilshan in their ranks.

"Dilshan could change games quickly. The dilscoop that he introduced has been played effectively by cricketers in shorter formats of the game with great success. Like Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath and Romesh Kaluwitharana, he left his mark in cricket."

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