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Dilshan to play T20 for Northern Districts

In a cricket coup of sorts, prolific Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has been roped in by Northern Districts (ND) for New Zealand's domestic T20 championship.

Dilshan, the man of the tournament at the Twenty20 World Cup in England, will spend a season with the club.

The Sri Lankan was the highest run-scorer at the Twenty20 World Cup, notching up 317 runs at an average of 52 with a strike rate of 144. In the IPL in South Africa, playing for Delhi Daredevils, he was the fifth-highest run scorer, averaging 42 with an impressive strike rate of 122.

"Dilshan is arguably the best Twenty20 batsman going in world cricket at the moment," ND Cricket chief executive David Cooper said.

"It is a significant move for us to sign him and have him coming out to New Zealand.

"We believe that his presence will assist our team and our players in much the same way Andrew Strauss did in early 2008. I have no doubt New Zealand crowds will enjoy watching him, too," he added.

A veteran of 53 Tests, the 32-year-old right-hand batsman averages 34.26 in Twenty20 Internationals and can also keep wickets and bowl right-arm offspin.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori will be Dilshan's teammate in the domestic Twenty20 competition, planned for late December which will continue till late January next year.

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