Sports Monks

Angelo Matthews Refuses To Take Full Blame

Following their early exit from the ongoing 2018 Asia Cup, the Sri Lankan board has replaced Angelo Mathews with Dinesh Chandimal as the captain of the national team. Sri Lanka, who were expected to reach the second round of the tournament, were knocked out of the tournament after suffering huge defeats against teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Following this, the selectors have requested Mathews to relinquish his duties as the National ODI & T20I captain, with immediate effect and have named Chandimal as the new skipper. Chandimal's first assignment will be the limited overs series against England at home which begins on October 10, 2018.

The all-rounder, who was the captain of the side from 2013 to 2017, had initially stepped down from the role because of Sri Lanka's poor run of form. The board tried handing over the captaincy to a number of experienced players including the likes of Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera etc.

Still, the Lankans were failing to win and their newly appointed coach Chandika Hathurasinghe requested Mathews to take charge of the team keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind. Mathews accepted the offer and was named the captain again just to be replaced by Chandimal a few months later.

This did not go well with the all-rounder and he wrote a letter to the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, Ashley de Silva and pointed out that he alone cannot be held responsible for Sri Lanka's poor performance and accused them of making him a scapegoat for the team's performances.

'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.

'You would recall that I relinquished my captaincy in all formats in July 2017, pursuant to captaining Sri Lanka continuously for a period of 5 years in all formats. During this tenure, under my captaincy, series wins were recorded against England, we whitewashed Australia 3-0 and winning the Asia Cup in 2014 were some memorable occasions.

'However, in the team's best interest having felt that the time had come for new leadership I voluntarily resigned as Captain from all formats of the game in July 2017.'

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