Mathews back as limited overs skipper

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Published by : CT WEB 2018-01-10 09:27:50

By Anjana Kaluarachchi

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) reappointed Angelo Mathews as skipper of ODI and T20 team six months after he stepped down from the position following the home ODI series against Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Chandimal has retained his Test captaincy where he has done well in the past two tours. He was also included in the ODI team after being left out on recent tours and given the responsibility of Vice Captain.

Since Mathews stepped down, Sri Lanka has been led by four different captains in ODIs - Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera, Chamara Kapugedera and Lasith Malinga - while going through a rough patch with their longest losing streak in ODIs.

"The Executive Committee at SLC unanimously agreed that Angelo (Mathews) should come back and lead the team," said President Thilanga Sumathipala. New coach Chandika Hathurusinghe has a very good working relationship with Angelo Mathews as he had worked with him in the 'A' team and then as shadow coach of SL team from the time Mathews made his debut, where he said Hathurusinghe's return helped him in deciding about coming back.

"When I stepped down I never thought of taking over the captaincy again," Mathews said. "But as soon as we came back from India, the President had a discussion with me. Also Hathu Aiya (Hathurusinghe) and the selectors spoke to me and asked me to consider taking up the captaincy again. I took a few days to think about it, and because of a few reasons I decided to accept," said Mathews.

"I've also known Hathu Aiya for a long time and I know how he operates. He's not here just to survive. It'll be very easy to work with him. When you have a coach like him that other countries are desperate to have, it's a great thing. Cricket has given me a lot. If I turn my back in the hour of need I'll not have done right by cricket," added Mathews.

Mathews' main problem has been injuries which had kept him out of many games in the recent past. Over the past eighteen months, he has missed 20 of Sri Lanka's 39 ODIs due to injuries. As Mathews explained, he had consulted every possible expert on the subject and they have explained to him that he had played most number of matches between 2013-2016 period and injuries are now coming as a result of his heavy work load.

Mathews said he is much more careful about injuries and had taken every precaution necessary to stay fit in the future.

New coach is very confident of Mathews leading the team while Chairman of Selectors explained that Mathews' appointment is a long-term one and he could be leading the team post 2019 ICC World Cup if he stays fit.

"My thought was that he's the best person to lead the ODI team because he warrants a place on his own performances. The only concern we had was his physical fitness and we have a plan in place to help him," said Hathurusinghe.



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