Mumbai: Cricketers believe in the stars as much as the commoners do. Ask Tillekaratne Dilshan.
The Sri Lankan batsman attributes the turnaround in his career as much to his decision to open the batting as to his marriage to actress Manjula Thilini.
She (Thilini) has been a huge strength and encourages me a lot. She doesnt know much about cricket, but always tells me not to play the hook shot, Dilshan told The Telegraph.
The 33-year-old met Thilini about two years ago when he was going through a personal crisis after the break up of his first marriage to a long-time girlfriend.
Thilini had little knowledge of the gentlemans game until she met him.
After the two tied the knot in Delhi during the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008, she has given up her acting career to play the supporting role in her husbands life.
When I first introduced myself, she didnt know I was a cricketer. But shes turned out to be my biggest fan, Dilshan said.
Interestingly, his success as an opening batsman has coincided with his marriage to Thilini.
His promotion to the top of the batting order came after he convinced the team management with some big scores in domestic cricket, soon after being omitted for the tri-series in Australia in 2007-08.
Dilshan preferred to bat down the order in Tests, but after his success in the one-dayers and T20s, it was just a matter of time before he would be promoted.
The thing is, at No.6, if you have three or four bad games, the chances of you going out of the side are more.
It has happened to me frequently in the last few years. You can get 30 runs quickly in an ODI, but you dont get highlighted, he said.
But when you open, you get highlighted and you have a chance to go on. If you see my records, as a No.6 player, I averaged around 29 runs per innings. I dont think I have failed, the opportunities I got were minimal, Dilshan said.