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Dilshan named new S. Lanka skipper

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 18 – Sri Lanka's cricket authorities on Monday named big-hitting all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan as captain for the upcoming tour of England.

Dilshan will lead the side in all three formats of the game — Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s — on the tour, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

The 34-year-old, renowned for an over-the-head scoop shot dubbed the "Dilscoop", replaces Kumar Sangakkara, who stepped down after Sri Lanka lost the World Cup final to India earlier this month.

Fitness worries meant the five-member national selection panel headed by Duleep Mendis, a former Sri Lanka skipper, did not name a vice-captain.

"The prospective candidates are nursing injuries and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question," the statement said.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews, 23, has been tipped for the role, but he is nursing a side strain suffered during the World Cup semi-final.

Dilshan, a right-handed batsman currently playing in the Indian Premier League, is expected to travel to Colombo this week to meet the selectors and pick the squad for England.

The tour runs from May to July and includes three Tests, five one-day games and a Twenty20 match.

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The son of a police officer, Dilshan is the 11th full-time Sri Lankan skipper. He made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in 1999 and hit an unbeaten 163 in his second Test match in Harare.

His career took off in 2009 when he volunteered to open in all three forms of the game in Pakistan, exploiting attacking fields and amassing huge scores in all formats.

He scored 11 international hundreds in the year and won the World Twenty20 Player of the Series prize.

Dilshan also had an excellent World Cup, where he was the tournament’s highest scorer with 500 runs.

His appointment is expected to be a short-term move because he is not expected to be a candidate for the 2015 World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand.

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