By Champika Fernando
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews has tendered his resignation as captain of the national side from all three formats.
Mathews resignation comes in the wake of the recent defeat to Zimbabwe in the five-match limited over series, where the tourists recorded country’s first-ever series win against the Islanders, beating them 3-2.
Mathews met the national selectors led by Sanath Jayasuriya on Tuesday morning and conveyed his decision to step down from the captaincy.
Mathews was named the captain of the national team until 2019 World Cup last year but the former Josephian college cricketer was under significant pressure to resign after series of losses in recent months.
Mathews who led Sri Lanka to famous 3-0 victory against Australia called the recent defeat against Zimbabwe ‘one of the lowest point in his career’.
“It’s one of the lowest points in my career. This one is hard to swallow. Everything went against us today from toss to misreading the wicket. No excuses though. At the end of the day we were not good enough to beat them. They played better cricket,” noted Mathews following Monday’s series defeat to Zimbabwe
Mathews led Sri Lanka in ODIs and T20Is before being appointed as the Test skipper replacing TM Dilshan.
Mathews is the key performer in the current side but a series of injuries kept him away from cricket for a significant period of time. Mathews injured his hamstring during the T20 series against South Africa which forced his return home without playing a further part in the tour. He missed the ODI series in South Africa and also the T20 series in Australia. He also missed the home series against Bangladesh and returned to the side for the Champions Trophy 2017.
His resignation comes just weeks after head coach Graham Ford was parted ways with Sri Lanka Cricket, few days missing out on a Champions Trophy semi-final spot
Mathews captained Sri Lanka in 34 Tests, of which the team won 13 and lost 15. Under Mathews Sri Lanka won 47 and lost 46 ODIS while in T20Is he won four and lost seven.
Mathews began his cricketing career at St. Josephs College, Colombo a school which also produced Sri Lanka’s best paceman Chaminda Vaas.
He excelled in school cricket and captained the Sri Lanka Under-19 cricket team at the cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka seven years ago. That was to be his stepping stone to break into the national cricket team.
His international debut was against Zimbabwe two years later when Sri Lanka toured that country.