The 30-year old Angelo Mathews stepped down as the skipper of Sri Lanka from all three formats of the game on Tuesday, following his side’s humiliating ODI series (2-3) loss to the eleventh ranked Zimbabwe.
Mathews was quoted saying that “the defeat to Zimbabwe as a bitter pill to swallow”, he further added on saying that “he would make a decision about his future after talking to the selectors and the Sri Lankan Cricket Association” in the post-match interview. He announced his decision to the selectors on Tuesday evening.
The all-rounder became the youngest Sri Lankan captain when he took over the reign from Mahela Jayawardene in 2013. Since then Mathews led his nation in 34 tests (won 13, lost 15), 98 ODIs (47 won, 46 lost) and in 12 T20Is out of which the team won 4 and lost 7. The highlight of his captaincy career is when they clean swept the test series 3-0 against Australia last year.
ALSO READ : BCCI deny appointing Ravi Shastri as coach
He sat out from the game this year due to the injury he sustained in the series against South Africa in January. He missed the ODI series against South Africa and the home series against Bangladesh. In spite of being unable to bowl he returned into the team and led them in the recently concluded Champions Trophy.
With the team in transition and along with the departure of their head coach Graham Ford after their team’s poor performance in the Champions Trophy, the decision took by Mathews will be a huge blow for the Sri Lankan cricket.
Considered as the best batsman in Sri Lanka right now, Dinesh Chandimal may be the first choice to fill up the boots as the captain of Sri Lanka. But his lack of form and consistency with the bat made him sit out of the Zimbabwe series. It makes Upul Tharanga the best choice to lead the side in ODIs and T20I s, with the tests being led by the left arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Nevertheless Sri Lankan cricket has been going through a tough time since the 2015 WC and the recent series loss to Zimbabwe on their home turf puts their 2019 World Cup spot in jeopardy.