Advertisement

World Cup 2019: Angelo Mathews responds to Mahela Jayawardene’s criticism rather wants him to help Sri Lanka

Mahela had blamed players falling for politics as the reason for Sri Lankan cricket's downfall.

Angelo Mathews
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathew. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews has responded to his former teammate and skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s shocking comments on the current national team. Jayawardene caused a stir in the cricketing fraternity by stating that Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal had become the victims of ‘cricket politics’. The former cricketer had said that while justifying his decision to declined a role from Sri Lanka Cricket with the team in the World Cup.

Jayawardene had said that he refused the offer because of the lack of his involvement in the overall structure. He had then gone on to criticise the likes of senior players Mathews and Chandimal for not standing up to cricket politics and give up captaincy. Mathews was the skipper of the team across formats when Jayawardene announced his retirement in 2015. However, in the last couple of years, Sri Lankan captaincy has become the butt of all jokes.

Advertisement

The likes of Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara and lately Dimuth Karunaratne have got the chance to lead the Islanders. The frequent changes in captaincy have coincided with Sri Lanka’s dismal run in international cricket especially in ODIs where they lost at home against Zimbabwe in addition to being whitewashed by the likes of India, Pakistan and South Africa.

“The only advice (Kumar Sangakkara and I) gave Angelo was not to give in to cricket politics,” Jayawardene had told The Sunday Times. “He needs to be a stronger leader, to be with the players and do the right thing. But he gave in to cricket politics. He allowed other people to make decisions and did not stand up for his players. I am being honest. I have told him this as well and he accepts it. If he hadn’t given in, we would probably not be in this situation today. Even if I see him today, that’s the only complaint I will have against him.”

Mathews defends himself

Mathews has leapt in to defend his captaincy stint but was not too critical of Jayawardene. The all-rounder took to Twitter and said that everyone including Mahela ‘has their opinion’ before urging his former teammate to help the team ‘with his knowledge and encouragement’ during the upcoming World Cup.

“Thanks for the concern guys everyone has their opinion and mj (Mahela Jayawardene) has his too.suprised to see some of his comments while denying them my top priority now is the World Cup and I urge mj to help us with his knowledge and encouragement in this crucial time which will mean a lot Thankyou,” Angelo Mathews wrote.

Advertisement