Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews has paid rich tribute to retiring opener Tillakaratne Dilshan by putting his contributions on par with two of the finest ever Sri Lankan batsmen namely Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Mathews' comments came ahead of the third ODI of the five-match series against Australia to be held at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, where Dilshan will play for the final time before bidding adieu to the international cricket.
"He's equalled the services of Mahela (Jayawardena) and (Kumar Sangakkara). We are going to miss him a lot. He's been an absolutely brilliant servant for Sri Lanka Cricket over the past 17 years," Mathews was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
The 29-year-old said that although he respects Dilshan's decision to retire from international cricket, he admitted it would be difficult to fill the void which would be left by him.
"Unfortunately, he has called it a day and we respect that decision. The whole team wishes him all the very best for the future. It's definitely going to be a tough ask to fill his boots, but we have seen the youngsters taking a lot of responsibility," he added.
Earlier this week, Dilshan, who scored 22 and 10 in the opening two matches of the series, had confirmed that he would call curtains on his international career after the completion of the ongoing series against Australia.
While Sunday's match will be his last ODI, Dilshan will retire completely after playing two T20s against Australia on 6 September and 9 September.
Known for his famous 'Dilscoop' ramp shot, Dilshan has accumulated a staggering 10,248 runs in the 50-overs format and taken 106 wickets in 329 matches.
The swashbuckling batsman had retired from Test cricket in 2013.