Angelo Mathews reinstated as Sri Lanka’s limited-overs captain

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Angelo Mathews reinstated as Sri Lanka’s limited-overs captain

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SportsCafe Desk

01/09/2018

Six months after stepping down as Sri Lanka's captain across all formats of the game, Angelo Mathews has, once again, been given the team's limited-overs captaincy duty today. The 30-year-old all-rounder resigned from the role after Sri Lanka's shambolic series defeat to Zimbabwe in July.

Sri Lanka cricket faced a torrid 2017 as they failed to win a single series and ended up winning just four One-day Internationals and six T20 Internationals in the whole year. Sri Lanka were themselves to blame for such a poor show as they kept on changing their team captains time and again. They have done once again in 2018 though as the board announced Mathews as the team's new limited-overs captain, replacing Thisara Perera.

The move of making the 30-year-old captain again came as a surprise as he had resigned from the captaincy from all the three formats of the game last year in July following the shocking defeat against Zimbabwe. Announcing the decision, Chairman of Selectors Graeme Labrooy said, "He is going to be our long-term captain. Ideally, we want him beyond 2019," reported AFP.

Sri Lanka’s newly-appointed coach Chandika Hathurusingha has also thrown his weight behind Mathews and said,"My reason for backing Angelo was that I needed the best person to lead the side. We wanted someone who was sure of his place in the side to lead the team.”

Sri Lanka used a total of six captains across the limited-overs formats over the last one year namely Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Perera, Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Chandimal, and Chamara Kapugedera. Of all these, only Mathews enjoyed a good run with a win percentage of 51.07% in ODIs and 36.36 % in T20Is. However, Dinesh Chandimal enjoyed a win percentage of 66.66 % in T20 Internationals but 0 in ODIs. 

Mathews confirmed that Hathurusingha's appointment as the head coach of the team helped him make up his mind to return to captaincy.

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

"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," he further added.

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