Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has announced that he is focused on leading the national team to their first Test series win in England.
Mathews also noted that Sri Lanka have put the recent Mankading incident, which occurred during the fifth ODI at Edgbaston, behind them. The incident, which involved Sri Lanka spinner Sachithra Senanayake running out England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler at the non-strikers end, caused a major uproar amongst the cricketing community.
“We want to be focused, concentrate on what we can do,” Mathews said. “There are so many things happening around but we want to stick to our basics, try and do our best and win against England.
“We played pretty well in the ODIs and confidence is pretty high. We all know it is going to be a hostile series, but we are up for the challenge and we just want to enjoy ourselves and play some good cricket.
“They are coming to beat us and we want to beat them – it’s going to be a good series.”
Even though Mathews made it clear that the Mankading incident was a thing of the past, he was still hounded about it by the press.
“I don’t want to see that happening again,” he said. “Buttler was warned a few times – he did it in the Lord’s ODI and we analysed it after that, and they have taken 21 twos in the last 10 overs.
“He was backing away but we did nothing about it – we just couldn’t let him do that in every game. We warned him twice and, as I keep saying, I don’t know how to stop a batsman doing that consistently so we had to go for it.
“I don’t want to keep talking about it – we’ve been talking about it ever since the ODI series so we just want to put it to bed and move on.
“After the game we (Mathews and Cook) had a chat but it was all heat of the moment and no-one really talked about it too much, but certainly we don’t want a repeat. We want to put it to bed and concentrate on what we can control and, like I said, enjoy ourselves.
“He was obviously disappointed after losing the series but we didn’t want to talk too much about it.”