Mathews affecting team dynamics

Published : 12:02 am  September 27, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Involved in 64 run outs with other batsmen being dismissed 49 times


Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha (left) in conversation with Chief Selector Graeme Labrooy and Skipper Dinesh Chandimal (centre) 
Pic by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe


By Shehan Daniel

Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Chief Selector Graeme Labrooy yesterday made scathing assessments of Angelo Mathews’ fitness, saying that despite his good recent performances his inclusion in the limited over squad would affect the team’s dynamics. 

Mathews was asked to step down from the captaincy of the limited overs team last week and subsequently dropped from the squad for next month’s ODI series against England, citing his poor fitness condition. 
“(His fitness condition is) Affecting the teams dynamics at this moment,” Hathurusingha said, without elaborating on to what extent this was the case.

He however pointed out Mathews’ running between the wickets, which had resulted in Sri Lanka losing crucial wickets during the Asia Cup, as a reason also considering his long history of involvement in run outs.
“I have explained that to him that there are certain aspects that are a concern for us. His running between wickets is a concern with not just him, but for the whole team. If you look at his record he has been involved in 64 run outs, and 49 times the other batsmen has been the one run out,” Hathurusingha said. 

“This does not mean that he is not going to be selected going forward. I know his average is 59 and he scored 99 three matches ago. I want him as fresh and clear as possible,” Hathurusingha said adding that he had spoken to Mathews over an extended period on his fitness levels.

“Yes (expressed concerns about his fitness to him). Whenever necessary I spoke to him,” Hathurusingha said.

Labrooy said that Mathews had been given exception from taking a yo-yo test before the Asia Cup, as the player had brought a doctor’s note recommending he does not take that test.

“He played the Asia Cup without going through a fitness test, because he came to us before the tournament with a doctor’s note saying that he should not take the test as it risked re-aggravating the injury. The coach and the selector can make an exception at their discretion and that was what we did. It’s strange that three weeks later, he’s asking to do the very test that he said doctors said he should not do,” Labrooy said. 

He also reiterated Hathurusingha’s concerns about Mathews’ fitness and said that the former captain finishing as the top scorer of the South Africa series solely did not justify a place for the England series. 

“We lost to South Africa. Even though he was the top scorer we ended in the losing side of the series. You’d expect when someone is the top scorer of the series, we would win the series,” he said. 

Labrooy also said that Mathews’ poor running between the wickets had put other batsmen under pressure. 

“We thought that he had slowed down his game and his cricket fitness was not up to mark. He had a challenge of taking quick singles and running two which transferred pressure onto other batters. So, we had two good discussions with him and we basically took that decision,” Labrooy also said. 

Aside from Mathews, Kusal Mendis was also dropped from the team, in light of his poor run of form, along with all-rounder Shehan Jayasuriya, Dilruwan Perera and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, with Chandimal, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lakshan Sandakan and Nuwan Pradeep coming into the squad.

Mendis and Lakmal remain on the standby list however, along with Shehan Madushanka, Dimuth Karunaratne and Jeffrey Vandersay.

Sri Lanka also announced the squad for the Test team, which sees opener Kaushal Silva being recalled along with left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara. 


We lost to South Africa. Even though he was the top scorer we ended in the losing side of the series. You’d expect when someone is the top scorer of the series, we would win the series