Mathews to be handed back ODI captaincy? | Daily News

Mathews to be handed back ODI captaincy?

A despondent Angelo Mathews after Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series 2-3 to Zimbabwe in July last year.
A despondent Angelo Mathews after Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series 2-3 to Zimbabwe in July last year.

The national selectors are seriously considering bringing back all-rounder Angelo Mathews as captain of the Sri Lanka one-day international team for the upcoming tri-nation one-day series in Bangladesh starting later this month.

“We have been discussing it but we have not finalised anything yet,” said chief selector Graeme Labrooy.

“At the same time we have not ruled out Thisara Perera the present captain either. We also have two other contenders for the captaincy. We don’t want to rush it right now but give enough time for the new coach Chandika Hathurusingha to spend with the players,” he said.

Although according to the Sports Law Hathurusingha cannot be part of the national selection committee provisions can be made to value his input and according to the SLC constitution he can be appointed to be part of the group when finalising the playing eleven.

Mathews has led Sri Lanka in 98 ODIs winning 47 and losing 45.

Mathews at present is recovering from a hamstring tear that he sustained during the second T20 international against India at Indore on December 22 and is expected to undergo a fitness test on January 7.

Along with him leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay will also undergo a fitness test the same day after straining a thigh muscle playing for SSC in a Premier league match.

“We are selecting the team on January 5 and if these two players are picked their inclusion will be subject to them successfully getting through the fitness test on January 7,” said Labrooy.

Labrooy stated that the squad will be picked with replacements for Mathews and Vandersay.

Mathews resigned as captain across all three formats following Sri Lanka’s stunning 2-3 ODI series loss to Zimbabwe in July last year that prompted him to make the remark, “It's one of the lowest points in my career, and a hard one to swallow."

Mathews’ resignation left Sri Lanka without a proper leader in the ODI format and resulted in the team being captained by four players Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera at different times resulting in 12 losses and one win in their last 13 ODIs.

Labrooy also stated that Mathews role as a bowler has also to be seriously discussed.

Mathews has continued to suffer injuries to his leg whenever takes on the task of bowling in one-day matches and as a result the team has lost out on his experience as a top order batsman.

“Mathews playing as an all-rounder balances the team nicely, but if he is to be played only as a batsman he will have to fight for his place with the other top batters in the side,” said Labrooy. The Sri Lanka team is due to leave for Bangladesh on January 13 and participate in a one-day tri-nation tournament with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe starting on January 17 before moving on to play a series of two Tests and two T20 internationals.


 

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