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Tillakaratne Dilshan: My Sri Lankan teammates called Dilscoop ‘starfish’

While many have stands or ends named after them or even grounds, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s gift to cricket was his very own ‘Dilscoop’, a shot that entertained his fans massively throughout his career.

Dilshan hitting his signature Dilscoop © Getty Images
Dilshan hitting his signature Dilscoop © Getty Images

Cricket has a long and glorious past and to make one’s own mark in that is not a common thing. While many have stands or ends named after them or even grounds, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s gift to cricket was his very own ‘Dilscoop’, a shot that entertained his fans massively throughout his career. Going down on one knee, as the Sri Lanka cricketer would open the face of his bat to place the ball over third man, fans knew there were very thin chances of that not making it over the ropes. Dilshan, in a recent interview, revealed that it makes him proud that a Sri Lankan has a shot named after him in a game played by ‘Englishmen and Australians’ for centuries. The assortment of injury risks posed by the Tillakaratne Dilshan-patented “Dilscoop”

“I seriously didn’t think that the shot will have such an impact on me, or it will be named after me. It makes me proud, and I can tell my children that there’s a shot named after papa. A stroke named after a Sri Lankan in a game played for centuries by the Englishmen and Australians,” Dilshan told The Indian Express.

“It was a shot that I used to play a lot during my childhood days (in Kalutara) in tennis ball cricket. The boundary behind was shorter and there was a lot of bounce too. But once I started playing proper cricket, I never attempted it even at the nets. Then suddenly it struck me, why don’t I try this shot?”

It was Chandika Hathurusingha, who further polished Dilshan’s signature shot. His teammates named it the ‘Starfish’, “for you have to have no brains to play a shot like that”.

“Nobody, fortunately, asked me why I am playing the shot. In Sri Lanka, nobody asks such questions,” he said. “Without tennis ball cricket, there wouldn’t have been the Dilscoop or the slinger [Lasith Malinga’s signature action]. We poor boys are not the products of the system.”

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