Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is aiming to make his comeback during the Nidahas Trophy next month, which is a T20 tri-series that will celebrate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence.
Mathews has been sidelined once again due to a hamstring injury he sustained during the recent ODI tri-series involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
He missed a majority of the ODI tri-series and the two-Test series that followed, which Sri Lanka won 1-0. Mathews was expected to play in the two-match Twenty20 series, but he will miss the remainder of Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh in order to ensure he doesn’t suffer another setback.
However, having made progress on his road to recovery, the 30-year-old is determined to return during the Nidahas Trophy, which will also feature India and Bangladesh.
“Everyone is looking forward to the event and I am very excited,” Mathews told Cricbuzz. “It will be a great opportunity for all the players. India are tough opponents and Bangladesh have shown some tremendous improvements over the years. I believe it will be a competitive series.
“With my injuries, we have now changed the strategy. In the past, as soon as I had got fit, I had gone and played. The consultant in UK Dr. Thamindu Wedathilleke and the consultants here like Professor Arjuna de Silva and others have insisted on looking at the scans rather than looking at clinically.
“In the past, I have rushed back to playing before the scars are fully healed. I am able to run and train and do other activities at the moment. But the game intensity is quite different and our stance is different now. We will let it settle fully and unless that happens I am not going to start playing again. It is going to be difficult for me and the team as well when I am injured so often.
“The training methods, gym work and quite bit about my preparation have changed. We are well equipped now to meet the demands I feel. Still, we can only minimize the injury and there’s no guarantee as such that everything will be fine. However, I am trying my very best to stay injury free. I am learning about my body and getting to know my body.”
Mathews also hinted that when he does return, it will likely be in a specialist batsman capacity, rather than as an all-rounder.
“It all depends on what the consultants say,” he said. “First thing is that I need to get fully fit and there’s no point of rushing things. I would like to bowl but in order to get there I need to get fully fit.”