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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Tillakaratne steps down
Hashan Tillakaratne
Tillakaratne won just one Test match as captain
Hashan Tillakaratne has stepped down as Sri Lankan captain after the 3-0 Test series loss against Australia.

The batsman stood in for one Test in 1999 and took on the job full time after last year's World Cup, replacing Sanath Jayasuriya.

He recorded just one Test win as skipper and his one series success came against England last winter.

Marvan Atapattu, who leads the limited-overs side, is expected to take the Test captaincy.

"I am stepping down as captain because it is high time that someone should take over and I can concentrate on my batting," Tillakaratne said.

"I have spoken to the selectors about how I feel about it and they have accepted my resignation.

"We lost the series and if someone is going to take over then this is the time to do it with so many tours coming up."

In January Sri Lanka Cricket vice-president Aravinda de Silva revealed that Atapattu's time as Test leader was near.

"Marvan knows that it is only a matter of time before he is handed over the Sri Lanka Test captaincy," former Test star de Silva said.

"He's aware of it and he has been told that he will be Tillakaratne's successor."

Tillakaratne first appeared in the Sri Lankan Test side in 1989, was dropped 10 years later, only to regain his place in 2001 and be awarded the captaincy a year ago.

But the 36-year-old's form with the bat suffered with the extra responsibility and his captaincy was criticised in some quarters as being too cautious.


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