Following Angelo Mathews’ shocking resignation as Sri Lanka captain in all the three formats, Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga have been appointed Sri Lanka’s new Test and limited-overs captains respectively.
Mathews decided to step down from his post after Sri Lanka’s shocking 3-2 loss in the ODI series against Zimbabwe. The series extended Sri Lanka’s poor performances this year where they were whitewashed by South Africa in ODIs, failed to win home series against Bangladesh and existed the Champions Trophy at group stage. The 30-year old allrounder conveyed his decision to the selectors on Tuesday (July 11), one day after Zimbabwe registered their first series win against the island nation. The outgoing skipper held a press conference on Wednesday (July 12), where he said that he finally decided to take the decision after being convinced of having some suitable candidates to replace him.
“Yes, there have been significant poor performances, and I’m humble enough to accept it. In the past also there were instances where I wanted to step down but I didn’t want to let the team down at that time, mainly because there were no replacements. The team’s interests supercede the individuals.
“Now there are candidates to take over, and I’m sure they will be more successful than me. I also wanted to give my successor time to build a team for the 2019 World Cup,” he added.
New Test captain Chandimal thanked Mathews and hoped that his predecessor would continue to play an integral role in the team.
“I’m very thankful to the job that Angie [Mathews] has done for us. Captaincy is not an easy job. He’s a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well,” Chandimal said.
Chandimal, who was not a part of Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for the Zimbabwe series, has played 36 Tests so far, having made his Test debut six years ago against South Africa. One of Sri Lanka’s batting mainstays, the 27-year old middle-order batsman has scored 2540 runs at an average of 42.33.
On the other hand, new-limited overs skipper Tharanga is one of the senior-most players in the team. The left-handed batsman, who had played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s journey to the final of 2011 World Cup, has scored 6,212 runs in 207 ODIs. He recently led the side in the Champions Trophy in Mathews’ absence.
Both the players, meanwhile, will start their captaincy stint in the upcoming series against India.