Sri Lanka top-order batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has joined Derbyshire for two spells during the 2015 season.
The 38-year-old will be available for up to four NatWest T20 Blast fixtures and two four-day matches in June, before returning in August for all cricket for the remainder of the season.
Dilshan has competed in 87 Tests for Sri Lanka, scoring 5,492 runs at an average of 40.98 and a high score of 193. In the shortest format of the game, he has featured in 232 matches hitting over 5,000 runs and with a top score of 104 not out off 57 balls coming against Australia in 2011.
We take a look at Dilshan’s explosive career to date by numbers.
With his relentless aggression, strong wrists and natural timing, Tillakaratne Dilshan is one of the most exciting batsmen in the game today - and you can see him at The 3aaa County Ground this summer.
Since bursting onto the international scene with an unbeaten 163 against Zimbabwe in his first series in November 1999, Dilshan has cemented his place as one of the most destructive batsman in the modern era.
He loves to make room and thrash the ball through the off side, but the stroke that bears his signature more than any other is the one he developed for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 - the "Dilscoop" shot over his head, which confounded bowlers and experts alike.
In fact, 2009 was a watershed year in his career, and a huge factor was his move up the batting order to open the innings in all three forms of the game.
Watch new signing Tillakaratne Dilshan in action at The 3aaa County Ground this summer – and gain best value by purchasing Membership for 2015.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club Members can watch all 46 days of home cricket for just £4 per day and be the first to use the new exclusive Members’ facilities at The 3aaa County Ground.
The Club has invested over £1million specifically on improving Members' facilities in the Lund Pavilion for the 2015 season and beyond. The new facility will offer a spacious, stylistic and relaxing venue to enjoy the cricket.
Members gain admission to all Derbyshire home fixtures, including the group stages of the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London One-Day Cup competitions, plus entry to the three-day Tour match versus Australia, for just £195.
Tom Poynton has hailed the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi a success and says the squad are raring to go with the new season just a little under five weeks away.
The squad returned to the UK on Monday morning after enjoying 10 days in the heat of the United Arab Emirates taking part in an intense regime of warm weather training and competitive fixtures against fellow first-class counties.
Poynton says the tour had been the ideal preparation ahead of the new campaign as the squad target a quick start to the 2015 season.
“It’s been good to get outdoors after being indoors and in the gym for such a long period of time,” Poynton said.
“It’s been nice to get some grass under your feet and get some proper cricket in. It’s an exciting time of the year and you know you’re in the build up to the season. It really starts to kick in from here.
Alex Hughes produced a fine all-round performance, but it wasn't enough as Derbyshire tasted defeat for the first time in Abu Dhabi as they went down by 36 runs to Middlesex in a Twenty20 friendly.
Alex Hughes (3-25) produced a stunning spell of bowling, but Dawid Malan's 60 helped Middlesex post 188-7 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Wickets fell at regular intervals during Derbyshire’s reply, with Alex Hughes top scoring with 30 and Shiv Thakor adding 27, but Wayne Madsen's men fell short of their target by 36 runs when they were bowled out for 152 off the penultimate delivery.
After being put into bat, Middlesex started brightly during the powerplay overs but Nick Compton was run out by Madsen for 26. The wicket seemed to slow Middlesex’s progress initially but they recovered through Dawid Malan (60) and Nick Gubbins (30).
Captain Wayne Madsen says he’s delighted with the county’s progress during their tour of Abu Dhabi, sponsored by Briggs of Burton, after securing three wins in as many matches.
Derbyshire have enjoyed seven days in the United Arab Emirates taking part in warm-weather training and competing in competitive fixtures against fellow first-class county Worcestershire and an ICC Associates XI.
Graeme Welch’s men have claimed victories in all three of their fixtures and Madsen say he’s been pleased with the side’s pre-season performances.
"We've had a couple of great performances out here," Madsen said.
"The 50-over win against Worcestershire – to claw back and win the game from the position that we were in – is going to give us great confidence.
Since landing in Abu Dhabi, it feels like nobody has had a moment to stop and take in the beautiful scenery around us due to the packed tour schedule.
Six consecutive days of cricket – the first two being intense training sessions – have meant that time has been in short supply for the touring party.
As a result, it has been excellent to have a free day today to relax and enjoy all that Abu Dhabi has to offer.
The majority of the squad and staff today enjoyed a boat-trip on a catamaran from Abu Dhabi Marina. The boat took us out to sea a few miles before mooring at a private island for two hours so we could all lay back and take in the wonderful sunshine.
A couple of players also took the opportunity today to experience go-karting at the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit situated directly opposite our hotel.
Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill produced a Man of the Match performance, top scoring with 105, as New Zealand recorded their sixth successive win at the 2015 World Cup as they beat Bangladesh by three wickets.
In a thrilling ODI in Hamilton, the home side chased down 289 with three wickets and seven balls to spare to maintain their unbeaten record in Group A.
Guptill led the chase with a terrific century off just 88 balls after the Black Caps had lost two early wickets. The powerful opener hit 11 fours and two sixes before finally falling for 105 – his sixth ODI hundred.
Ross Taylor added 56 and Grant Elliott hit 39 as New Zealand reached their target in the penultimate over.
Derbyshire defeated Worcestershire by six wickets to make it three wins from three on the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi, sponsored by Briggs of Burton.
On the second day of the two-day friendly, Derbyshire successfully chased down a target of 88 to win with Ben Slater top scoring with 67 and leading his side to a comfortable win before carrying on to bat out the remaining overs.
The day began with Worcestershire on 103-2 and looking to close in on Derbyshire’s first innings total of 276-3.
Left-arm seamer Harry White - who recently signed an incremental contract for 2015 - claimed the first two wickets of the day, beating Alexei Kervezee (33) for pace to remove his middle stump and then enticing the edge of Ross Whiteley without scoring. They were his first two scalps for the first team.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals but Alex Gidman anchored the innings to score 62 .
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