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SLC Chief backs captain Mathews



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SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala is backing captain Angelo Mathews.


by Rex Clementine


 


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief Thialnga Sumathipala put a firm end to speculation that Angelo Mathews will be replaced as Sri Lanka captain ahead of the upcoming bilateral series against Australia when he firmly backed the under fire skipper.


Sri Lankan cricket has hit new lows under Mathews and since 2015 the team has suffered home series defeats to India and Pakistan and were humiliated in England and New Zealand. This year the team entered both the Asia Cup and the World T-20 as defending champions, but failed to make an impact making early exits.


During the recent tour to England, Mathews’ side lost the Test series 2-0 and the ODIs 3-0 while the one off T-20 International too ended in defeat. Mathews’ captaincy style and handling things off the field has been heavily criticized. While most critics believe that despite the shortcomings Mathews should remain captain, a few others were of the opinion that time has come to move on.


It is believed that the selectors too had their reservations of the way Mathews has led the side. A high profile meeting called for yesterday morning at SLC headquarters, involving the cricket hierarchy suggested that Mathews will be pushed out, but the SLC chief said he would have none of it.


"We have groomed Angelo to be our leader and he will remain our captain," Sumathipala told Sunday Island yesterday.


"You’ve got to realise that the World Cup is three years away and that’s a long time. The rebuilding process will take time and the Board and I fully back Angelo," Sumathipala added.


"Our batting has improved and unfortunately several of our bowlers were injured. There are huge concerns about our fielding and we will address that issue. Angelo has our fullest support and there’s no doubt about it."


"I do have criticism about his captaincy which I will discuss with him when we meet. If you take for example, M.S. Dhoni is one of the finest captains and he trusts Thisara Perera to do the job for him when they play for Pune in the IPL. He even gets him to bowl in the Power Plays. I am not too sure why Angelo can’t do the same when it comes to T-20 Internationals," Sumathipala observed.


"We bank on Angelo to take the national team to the next level. The national team is our priority and to help the national team to perform better we will give all our support. When it comes to the national team we have an unlimited budget."


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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