Angelo Matthews  © Getty Images
Angelo Matthews © Getty Images

2017 was nightmare for Sri Lanka having won only five out of their 29 ODIs. However, captain Angelo Mathews wants the team to put the past behind and start all over again ahead of their first game on the Bangladesh Tri-Nation series against Zimbabwe.

‘Winning is very important’ 

“It is a new year as well. We would like to put 2017 behind and start all over again,” Mathews told reporters at Dhaka.

“We want to strive to be the best. We want to play good cricket, keep improving every single game. It [rebuilding] is our main target. Winning is very important but when you are building a team for 2019 you have to look at all the angles,” he added.

Chandika Hathurusingha has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s coach with Matthews reappointed as captain after losing the position six months ago. Hathurusingha who coached for Bangladesh before knows the conditions very well, a big plus for Sri Lanka.

Mathews focuses on the positives in 2017 when Sri Lanka defeated India in their home ground in the first ODI of the series few months ago.

‘We have the skills’

“It is quite difficult to motivate yourself when you are not doing well. But this is our job. You have to motivate yourselves. The guys are all motivated. Just one or two losses won’t put us into a bad situation. Just few months ago we beat the strong Indian side. It is the same team; we have the skills and talent. We have to go out there and enjoy,” he said.

Matthews concludes saying that the team has happy memories in the venue and is looking forward to create more.

‘We have to start fresh’

“This has been a happy hunting ground for us, especially in 2014 when we had a great outing in Dhaka. But that’s history now. We have to start fresh tomorrow. We have a good idea of how the wicket plays. But you can’t predict 100 per cent. On the day, you have to assess conditions and situations. We have a different team as well and we have had so many fond memories and we are looking forward to some more.”