Sri Lanka have dropped their former skipper Angelo Mathews from the 15- member squad to take on England in the upcoming five-match ODI series.
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Earlier this week, Mathews was sacked as Sri Lanka’s ODI skipper. The decision came in the wake of the islander’s humiliating group-stage exit at the Asia Cup. The five-time winners bowed out of the competition after suffering big losses against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Reports suggest that Mathews lost his place in the side due to fitness issues.
The allrounder has suffered several leg injuries in the last couple of years. Even in the Asia Cup, he struggled with his fitness and had played a role in the run-outs of two batting partners.
However, Mathews has been consistent with the bat for the Islanders in the 50-over format. Since the start of 2017, Mathews has made 888 ODI runs at 59.20, across 22 innings.
In Sri Lanka’s most recent bilateral series, against South Africa, he was their highest run-scorer. Mathews scored 235 runs at an average of 78.33.
Not surprisingly, he was miffed with his unceremonious sacking and did not hesitate in hitting back at the selectors. He wrote a letter SLC CEO Ashley de Silva to express his disappointment. Mathews insisted the selectors made him a “scapegoat” for Sri Lanka’s failure at the Asia Cup.
Mathews had taken up the ODI captaincy in January this year after resigning last year following the series loss against Zimbabwe at home.
But while the reports suggest fitness issues as a factor behind Mathews axing, the allrounder has been interestingly named in the Test side.
Dinesh Chandimal will lead Sri Lanka in both Tests and ODIs in the home series against England. The ODI series begins on October 10.
It will be followed by an one-off T20I and three Tests. Chandimal will lead the side in Tests too.
Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara*, Lakshan Sandakan, Niroshan Dickwella.
Dinesh Chandimal (c), Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Kusal Perera.