Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene had raised quite a number of eyebrows by stating that his successor Angelo Mathews was responsible for Sri Lankan cricket’s poor state nowadays. While revealing that he had declined an offer from Sri Lanka Cricket to work with the team during the World Cup, Jayawardene had said that Mathews could not lead the team by example.

The legendary batsman blamed Mathews for Sri Lankan cricket’s dismal state nowadays as he said the latter should not have given in to cricket politics. Mathews was captain of all the team across formats when Jayawardene retired in 2015. However, since then, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara and – most-recently – Dimuth Karunaratne have been handed the captaincy.

Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews
The only advice we gave Angelo was not to give in to cricket politics: Mahela Jayawardene. (Credits: Getty Images.)

“The only advice we gave Angelo was not to give in to cricket politics,” Jayawardene had told Sunday Times. “He needs to be a stronger leader, to be with the players and do the right thing. But he gave in to cricket politics. He allowed other people to make decisions and did not stand up for his players. I am being honest. I have told him this as well and he accepts it. If he hadn’t given in, we would probably not be in this situation today. Even if I see him today, that’s the only complaint I will have against him.

Mathews, who had stepped down from captaincy after an ODI series loss at the hands of Zimbabwe in 2017, has now responded to Jayawardene’s comments. The allrounder said that he was “surprised” to see some of the comments but his priority was the World Cup. Mathews also urged Jayawardene to help the Sri Lankan team “with his knowledge and encouragement in this crucial time”.

“Thanks for the concern guys everyone has their opinion and mj has his too.suprised to see some of his comments while denying them my top priority now is the World Cup and I urge mj to help us with his knowledge and encouragement in this crucial time wich will mean alot Thankyou🙏,” wrote Angelo Mathews.