Sri Lanka vs India: 29 Sri Lanka cricketers sign tour contracts for series; Angelo Mathews pulls out citing personal reasons

Angelo Mathews has pulled out the series.

Sri Lanka Team
Sri Lanka Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Sri Lanka cricket has been in a spot of bother ever since the national board announced a new salary structure. Disappointed with the new system, many veteran players refused to sign the national contracts and subsequently made themselves unavailable. Owing to this, the national board hasn’t yet announced squads for the upcoming white-ball series against India at home which is just days away.

Nevertheless, the announcement of the squads can be made soon as 29 players have signed the Tour Contract ahead of the India series. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made the news official on Wednesday (July 7). For the unversed, SLC had shortlisted 30 players for the assignment against the Shikhar Dhawan-led side. While 29 of them have agreed to sign, veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews has pulled out citing personal reasons.

“Angelo Mathews, who was included in the respective 30-member squad, requested Sri Lanka Cricket to relieve him from National Duties, owing to personal reasons, until further notice,” read the statement released by SLC. Notably, it hasn’t been known which players have agreed to sign the contract and will feature in the upcoming series against India.

Veteran players back in the mix?

Notably, the national selectors didn’t consider veterans like Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Dinesh Chandimal for the Bangladesh and England series recently. However, as revealed by SLC, Mathews was offered a contract for the India series. Hence, one might see several experienced players coming into the mix.

Meanwhile, the Lankan Lions, under Kusal Perera’s leadership, had a horrendous tour of England recently. While they suffered a 0-3 whitewash in the T20I series, the ODI series saw the Three Lions winning by 2-0 with one game being washed out due to rain. Hence, it would be interesting to see if they can make any sort of comeback against India at home.

Although many first-choice Indian players will not feature in the coming series, the hosts can’t afford to put a foot wrong. In Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Yuvendra Chahal, the visiting team has several potent white-ball cricketers in the team. Moreover, the majority of the fans and experts are backing the ‘second-string’ Indian team to get the better of Sri Lanka. Hence, it would be interesting to see how this series unfolds.