There’s an air of uncertainty surrounding Sri Lankan cricket at the moment. Following their dismal performance in the Asia Cup, where they failed to make it to the super 4 stage, the national selectors along with head coach Chandika Hathurasingha decided to sack Angelo Mathews as their skipper. He was informed of the same at a meeting held on 21st September at the SLC premises.Following this recent turn of events, a disappointed Mathews penned down a heartfelt letter to the CEO SLC. He described how he felt he was being made the scapegoat of their poor run in the Asia Cup.Yes, the results of late have not been great, but its hard to disagree with Mathews’s claims that he is being made the scapegoat.
After all, he himself stood down from the captaincy post after a series loss against Zimbabwe at home soil in 2017. Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga, and all-rounder Thisara Perera have all been given a shot at captaincy with none being given a long run. Chandika was then appointed the head coach of the national team, and it’s to be kept in mind that he charges more than any Sri Lankan coach has ever been paid, amidst lots of fanfare. Most people perceived that he would be the man to bring Sri Lankan cricket back on track, upon arrival, Hathurusingha coaxed Mathews into reconsidering his decision to step down as captain. Against the recommendations of close friends and family, Mathews accepted to be reinstated as the captain, only to be met with this fate.
What’s interesting is that Dinesh Chandimal, the test skipper, has been given reins of the limited-overs sides too. It’s an untold secret that Chandika is a huge backer of Dinesh Chandimal. When he first burst upon the international scene, CHandimal was an outright attacking batsman. He, however, curbed his natural instincts to become an ideal test cricketer for Sri Lanka. He is undisputedly their No. 1 test batsman, but his credentials as a shorter format batsman are up for debate. His strike rate in ODI’s is too low in comparison to the demands of modern-day cricket. If in the squad, he may not even be a sure shot starter in the playing XI in case he wasn’t the captain. His appointment definitely begs questions to be asked of the selectors.
Results might not follow immediately, but the management has to understand the need for a sense of certainty and calm around the dressing room. They need to accept that at present they just are not good enough at their skills and should be better off at putting their heads down and improve themselves, rather than taking impulsive decisions in the wake of their recent performances.