After a few Big names have pulled from the Champions League Twenty20, Tillakaratne Dilshan became the latest big name to do the same as he informed Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday that he will stay away from Southern Express in the tournament due to “personal reasons”.
“Dilshan has informed Sri Lanka Cricket today and I have been informed that Dilshan won’t be participating in the Champions League due personal reasons,” said the manager of the Southern Express the Sri Lankan Twenty20 champions, Shane Fernando.
Southern Express are already lost services of Lasith Malinga, their captain who will be representing Mumbai Indians, and Dilshan’s loss has come as another blow to their plans of making into next round i.e., main tournament as the Sri Lankan team are subjected to play in the qualifiers of the tournament.
Fernando said Malinga was a key loss as his absence would hurt the team and now missing of Dilshan might be considered as death blow.
“Lasith was a part of our team in the build up for this Champions League and he played a big role for us in being the champions in the local tournament,” said Fernando. “The team has been preparing for the last six weeks without Malinga, and I think we have a well-balanced side. The captain (Jehan Mubarak) and coach (Naveed Nawaz) are very happy with the team.“
“Obviously, not having Malinga will be a bit of a blow for us because he was part of our team in Colombo. But Dilshan didn’t attend any matches during our preparation. So as far Dilshan is concerned, he is a champion batsman and a superb T20 player, but we have prepared so far and we have enough talent in our side to go ahead in this tournament even without Dilshan.”
Southern Express begin their campaign in the qualifiers, the first game of earlier stages on Saturday against Northern Knights of New Zealand. Mumbai and Lahore Lions are the other teams taking part in the qualifying stage who will face each other on the same day following the first game.