Angelo Mathews shouldn't have stepped down as captain, says Arjuna Ranatunga

Angelo Mathews shouldn’t have stepped down as captain, says Arjuna Ranatunga

Ranatunga’s opinion holds even more value because he has an insight of what goes on within the Lankan administration.

Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lankan cricket has hit a low recently, but there is not one primary reason for it. There has been internal politics in the Sri Lankan cricket board that has led to change in administration as well as frequent changes in the coaching staff because of the increasing after-effects of politics. There have also been changes in the squad, and no core players have been recognized as such, with the team majorly depending on once-in-a blue-moon kind of performances. It is more than natural that it has resulted in a change of captains, from Angelo Mathews to Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has criticised Mathews’ decision to step down as skipper of the side in all formats of the game and felt the onus was on Sri Lanka Cricket to not allow such a situation to have occurred. Mathews resigned from captaincy following ODI series to Zimbabwe at home earlier this year. Ranatunga is not impressed and felt that Sri Lankan cricket authorities should have supported Mathews and encouraged him to continue rather than allowing him to fade and become a scapegoat for the team’s miserable run.

The best captain

“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.

SLC accepted the call by Mathews and appointed Chandimal as the skipper of the Test side while Upul Tharanga was made captain in the limited-overs formats of the game. The results on field have not changed despite the change of leadership as a dismal series against India followed.

“When Sri Lanka whitewashed number one ranked Australia in the Test series last year, there were a 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,” Ranatunga added.

With Tharanga banned for two ODI matches by the ICC due to slow over-rate, Sri Lanka has been forced to appoint Chamara Kapugedera as the skipper as the hosts look to save the series against India on Sunday when the 3rd ODI will be played at Pallekele.

Ranatunga’s opinion holds, even more, value because he has an insight of what goes on within the Lankan administration and since he has captained the team he would know what Mathews would have gone through, resulting in the sympathy for the former skipper and the feeling that he has received little help from Sri Lanka cricket administration.