Dropped from captaincy, ‘betrayed’ and ‘hurt’ Angelo Mathews ready to retire
“Betrayed and let down” by the Sri Lanka Cricket board, veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews said that he would consider quitting from the limited overs’ teams as he doesn’t want to be a “burden on the national team.”
Sri Lanka’s group stage exit from the ongoing Asia Cup following losses to Bangladesh and Afghanistan has brought a lot of criticism on Mathews who said that he is ready to take the blame but not be made the scapegoat for the team’s disappointing campaign.
In an emotional letter to the Sri Lanka Cricket board, Mathews wrote, “I’m willing to take part of the blame but at the same time, feel betrayed and let down if the blame is solely put on me.
“As you know all decisions are taken through the mutual understanding with Selectors and the Head Coach. And though I do not agree with the reasoning that the losses should be carried single-handedly to the Captaincy, I however eagerly and wholeheartedly respect the request of the selection committee and the head coach asking me to step down and do so with immediate effect” he wrote.
He further added, “I wish to put it on record that though Sri Lanka had suffered these heavy defeats in the Asia Cup, which is shocking, to say the least, especially in the backdrop where we had a reasonable series against South Africa, I had no intention of quitting and running away from the issues at hand especially owing to the World Cup being a dozen games away.”
Mathews has been replaced by Dinesh Chandimal as the new captain and this just goes to highlight the inconsistency of the SLC in having one leader at the helm of the team. Before taking up the reins of the team for the Asia Cup, Mathews had earlier resigned from captaincy after the shocking home series defeat to Zimbabwe.
Recalling the victories the Sri Lankan team achieved with him as the captain, Mathews said, “During this tenure, under my captaincy, series wins were recorded against England, we whitewashed Australia 3-0 and winning the Asia Cup in 2014 were some memorable occasions.”
“However, in the team’s best interest having felt that the time had come for new leadership I voluntarily resigned as Captain from all formats of the game in July 2017.
“Thereafter, pursuant to Sri Lanka suffering heavy defeats in all formats and having several appointed Captains, namely Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera, Chamara Kapugedara, Lasith Malinga and Dinesh Chandimal during the tenure between July 2017 and December 2017 in the ODI and T20 formats, Mr. Chandika Hathurusingha immediately having been appointed as Head coach met with me in person, requested me to reconsider taking up the Captaincy until the World Cup in 2019.
“Though myself, my family and close friends discouraged me in taking up the mantle, being confident in Hathurusinghe and his plans to elevate the performances of the Sri Lankan team and in the best interest of my country I agreed to do so until the World Cup.”
Since 2017, Sri Lanka played a total of 47 ODIs out of which they lost 30.
He further volunteered to step down from the limited overs’ teams, never wanting to be a “burden to the team.”
“I also believe that if the selectors and coach are of the view that I am unfit to play ODI and T20 cricket and thus not entitled for my place in the team, I would also consider retiring from the ODI and T20 formats as I never want to be a burden to the team,” his letter read.