Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala said that Angelo Mathews’ captaincy will remain until the 2019 ODI World Cup despite criticisms after Sri Lanka’s recent 3-0 Test series defeat in South Africa.
Addressing a media conference at SLC headquarters yesterday Sumathipala affirmed that this was the opinion shared by the national selection committee headed by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya.
SLC and the national selection committee called a post series review through internet with captain Mathews, coach Graham Ford and manager Ranjith Fernando soon after the Test series and discussed a lot about preparation for the T20 and ODI series.
Sumathipala defused rumors that they had discussed about Mathews’ captaincy during the discussion.
Sumathipala was of the view that Mathews who is a very senior and experienced player in international cricket is the most suitable campaigner to lead Sri Lanka at the 2019 World Cup.
“Mathews too must understand this responsibility and should work towards to rebuild the team. We hope that the South African pitches for T20 and ODI series will be more familiar to our players,” the SLC president said.
Sumathipala praised the Lankan pace attack, especially Lahiru Kumara who bowled 145kmph despite the series loss. “There were many mental setbacks in our players during the last three-four months. But with new High Performance Manager Simon Willis we were able to minimise those problems and hope the team will get back on the right track very soon,” he said.
“We have selected the best 11 out of 20. If we are afraid of losing, we will not learn to win. It is quite pathetic to accept that we could not go beyond the 150 mark in three innings. We not only failed in batting, but missed some crucial catches where we could have put pressure on the South African batting.
“The truth is we were not capable of facing the South African pace and bounce. But we have to find a solution to this.
We are quite satisfied with coach Graham Ford’s service.
Instead of pointing fingers to people we have to re-unite to get the team on a winning path,” Sumathipala concluded.