Mathews regains Sri Lanka limited-overs captaincy


Mathews has scored 5,065 ODI runs and taken 114 wickets since his debut in 2008

Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews has been reappointed as captain of the nation’s limited-overs team.

The 30-year-old relinquished the captaincy in all three formats last year after the shock home one-day series defeat against Zimbabwe in July.

He replaces Thisara Perera and is expected to lead the side into the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

“When I stepped down I never thought of taking over again,” said Mathews, who has played 195 one-day internationals.

“I took a few a few days to think about it, and because of a few reasons I decided to accept it.”

Mathews will work under new coach Chandika Hathurusingha who took over in December after resigning as Bangladesh coach.

Zimbabwe’s victory in Sri Lanka last year was their first major overseas one-day series success since 2001.

Following the resignation of Mathews, keeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal was named the new Test captain – a role he retains – while batsman Upul Tharanga was put in charge of the limited-overs side.

Tharanga then lost the captaincy after a run of 10 consecutive defeats and was replaced by all-rounder Thisara Perera, who presided over the team’s 2-1 loss in India last month, on a temporary basis.

All in all, seven men captained Sri Lanka in 2017. As well as Mathews and Chandimal, veteran spinner Rangana Herath deputised for Chandimal in several Tests.

Then, during the 5-0 summer ODI whitewash by India, batsman Chamara Kapugedera led the side in one ODI when Tharanga served a suspension for a slow over-rate, before he himself was injured, leaving fast bowler Lasith Malinga – a former Twenty20 captain – in charge for one ODI.

“We need stability running into the World Cup,” said Mathews, who will begin the new phase of his captaincy in a tri-series in Bangladesh that also involves Zimbabwe later this month.

“We’ve had a few captains over the last few months because of injuries. The other captains did a good job, though we didn’t get the results. But going into the World Cup we need that stability.”

Sri Lanka reached successive World Cup finals and won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2012, before losing in the final two years later.

But in last year’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales, they finished bottom of their group after winning only one of their three fixtures.

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