Sri Lanka‘s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga came out in support of Angelo Mathews and stated the board should have persuaded him to carry on as a leader. Mathews captained the side from 2012 but a long layoff due to injury in January 2017 turned things around. He came back after a long gap in ICC Champions Trophy 2017, wherein the subcontinental side were eliminated in the group stages. Returning home, Sri Lanka lost a bilateral ODI series to Zimbabwe; leading to Mathews’ resignation. Ranatunga praised Mathews’ leadership as positive and stated that he was Sri Lanka’s best after Ranjan Madugalle.
“Mathews is the best captain I have seen after Ranjan Madugalle. When he said that he wanted to quit, SLC should have told him to hang in there without throwing the towel in. If I had any say, I would have told him that this is not the time to quit”, Ranatunga told Cricbuzz.
Ranatunga added, “When Sri Lanka whitewashed No. 1 ranked Australia in the Test series last year, there were lot of people to take credit, but sadly when he lost he was made the scapegoat and all the blame was on him. Mathews was a very positive captain, but due to constant changes and lots of chopping and changing he started becoming negative because he lost the confidence.”
The highlight of Mathews’ captaincy era was when Sri Lanka had a successful tour of England in 2014 by winning across formats.
Sri Lanka are currently trailing 0-2 in the five-match ODI series versus India at home. They are being led by Upul Tharanga who has taken over since Mathews stepped aside. While Tharanga has the ODI captaincy, Dinesh Chandimal has been appointed Test skipper.
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