Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka have stripped Angelo Mathews of the ODI and Twenty20 captaincy and handed it to Dinesh Chandimal.
The decision was made after Sri Lanka’s less than impressive performance at the Asia Cup, where they were knocked out in the group stage after losing to Bangladesh by 137 runs and Afghanistan by 91 runs.
However, Mathews was infuriated by Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) decision to pry the limited overs captaincy away from him as he feels he is being held solely responsible for his side’s disastrous Asia Cup campaign.
In a letter to SLC, which ESPNcricinfo published, Mathews wrote: “The selection committee and the coach informed me to step down as Sri Lanka’s captain of the ODI and T20 team. Though I was initially surprised, it was immediately felt that I have been made the scapegoat in this entire saga of Sri Lanka’s dismal performances against Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.
“I’m willing to take part of the blame but at the same time, feel betrayed and let down if the blame is solely put on me. As you know all decisions are taken through a mutual understanding with the Selectors and the Head Coach.
“And though I do not agree with the reasoning that the losses should be accrued single handed to the Captaincy, I however eagerly and wholeheartedly respect the request of the selection committee and the head coach in asking me to step down and do so with immediate effect.”
Mathews had been reinstated as Sri Lanka’s ODI and Twenty20 captain in January, but had to hand the reins over to Chandimal less than two weeks later as he sustained an injury.
Mathews returned as captain when Sri Lanka hosted South Africa in July. While the island nation lost the ODI series, they triumphed in the one-off Twenty20 International.
With Chandimal now captain across all three formats, his first assignment as Sri Lanka’s limited overs skipper will be the upcoming series against England, which begins on October 10 in Dambulla.