Mathews not mentally ready for captaincy


Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews may be his country's captain in Tests and ODIs, but he says he had not mentally prepared himself to take the job in T20s too, after it was thrust upon him ahead of the World T20.

Lasith Malinga withdrew from the role just before the event due to a knee injury, saying he felt the team deserved a regular starter, and Mathews admitted it came as a shock, and he wasn't thrilled.

When asked if he was keen for the job immediately, he said: "I was not.

"But I have the experience of captaining for quite a few years now so it is a challenge. The selectors and Lasith have been planning for this tournament for a quite a long time so they worked together.

"And now it is a whole different situation, so I have to do the best and get the best out of the team which I have."

He continued: "I don't really know what the thinking is after this. I was told to lead the team in the World Cup and how can I say no. I can't let the team down and the country down.

"I will take this as a positive because I know they trusted me. I will try my best to do whatever possible to get to the top with the team that I have.

"They have given me the team that I wanted and now it is the matter of going out there and expressing ourselves."

Sri Lanka, the defending champions, start their campaign on 17 March, against an as-yet unknown opponent. Their form recently has been poor, and Mathews hopes that will see teams underestimating them.

He added: "Not going in as favourites, it is doing a favour for us. We have admitted that we haven't played good cricket in the Asia Cup. But the morale… well, the morale in the team is quite good.

"We can't say that we are all depressed and we are mourning about the Asia Cup. It is done and dusted. It is a new series. It is a fresh start for us. So we are hoping that we'll click.

"We are starting our campaign from tomorrow and hopefully we can go right till the end."