Angelo Mathews will take the lead while Dinesh Chandimal will be the vice-captain for ICC World T20 2016 © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews will take the lead while Dinesh Chandimal will be the vice-captain for ICC World T20 2016 © Getty Images

Colombo: All-rounder Angelo Mathews on Tuesday replaced Lasith Malinga as captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team for the ICC World Twenty20 (T20) 2016 in India but the injury- ravaged pacer managed to retain his place in the side. The team was picked by the new selection committee — headed by the former skipper Aravinda de Silva which also includes Kumar Sangakkara. Malinga was asked by the management to resign as captain after a spate of injuries which relegated him to a non-playing captain. The pacer eventually stepped down yesterday owing to slow recovery from a knee injury, which forced him to miss most of the recent Asia Cup. READ: Sanath Jayasuriya backs Angelo Mathews to lead Sri Lanka in ICC world T20 2016

“Last night we finalised the new squad and informed the ICC (Internatonal Cricket Council). We have appointed Mathews as captain and (Dinesh) Chandimal as vice-captain,” said Jayasekera. “Malinga will be the 15th in the squad,” he told reporters ahead of the team’s departure for India later Tuesday. Ironically, it was Malinga who was captain when Sri Lanka won the last World T20 held in Bangladesh in 2014. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal returned to the side along with the left-handed batsman, Lahiru Thirmanna. Both were not part of the recent Asia Cup when Sri Lanka were beaten by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their only win coming against associate team the UAE. READ: ICC World T20 2016: Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews included in Sri Lanka squad

While Sri Lanka won the last World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in 2014, the team has been badly weakened by the retirements of star batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. They are eighth in the T20 rankings and few commentators have given them much hope of successfully defending their title in the sixth edition of the format’s world championship which begins later Tuesday in India. Malinga, who has been struggling with a knee injury, only played one match in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh where he hinted that he was considering retirement.