Mathews urges not to single out players for Champions Trophy failures


by Reemus Fernando

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (L) celebrates victory at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy match between India and Sri Lanka at the Oval in London on June 8, 2017. Mathews yesterday urged media not to single out players when placing the blame for Sri Lanka’s early exit from the Champions Trophy. (Ian Kington / AFP)

Angelo Mathews urged media not to single out players when placing the blame for Sri Lanka team’s early exit from the Champions Trophy tournament and insisted that the whole team was responsible for the failures during the campaign in England.

Sri Lankan skipper said this at a press conference held at Sri Lanka Cricket on the team’s return from England following their three-wicket defeat to Pakistan in Cardiff where fielding mishaps were largely blamed for the failure.

"The whole nation is disappointed and we are disappointed. I take the responsibility for the defeat. I urge not to grab a few players by their throat for the defeat, and destroy them," said Mathews.

Mathews credited his team for beating India to record their only victory of the tournament.

"It was a fantastic effort by the team to beat an experienced team like India. In the third game we made a few mistakes. We will try our best to minimise mistakes in the future," he said.

Meanwhile, Lasith Malinga said that he was not disappointed over the dropped catches off his bowling and insisted that the team not the coaches should take the blame for instances of fielding mishaps.

Ranjit Fernando, the manager of the tour, said that despite making an early exit the team could be rated as one of the most talented teams he had worked with.

"I have worked with many teams in different capacities. This is one of the most talented teams that I have worked with. We should help the team bounce back," said Fernando.

Coach Graham Ford said that Sri Lanka had more positives to take from the tournament than most of the teams that made early exits.

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