Mathews open to handing over T20 gig


Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the team's captain in all three formats, but admits he'd happily give the T20 armband to someone else if the selectors think it would be best.

Mathews was given the role ahead of the World Twenty20 this year when Lasith Malinga resigned from the role. Mathews was notably disgruntled about it at the time, saying he was not prepared, and has never warmed to the task.

Mathews, on tour in the UK, said on Cricinfo: "If I think there is a suitable captain and a better captain than me, I'll talk to the selectors and step down.

"If somebody comes through the ranks and is doing really well and is up for the challenge, well, I'll obviously give it to him."

Sri Lanka lost the Test series in England quite comprehensively, and are one nil down in the five-match ODI series, but Mathews is still very much invested in the overall improvement of the young side. They are still recovering from a string of star retirements.

He added: "The guys have to take responsibility. We don't have the senior players now but we have a good bunch of players who are willing to go out there and fight it out, so it's pretty pleasing.

"We've got so many players who are helping each other out. They're throwing in a lot of ideas as well. We've got a lot of younger guys but they're not afraid of throwing their thoughts in, which is very positive from our point of view."

Mathews felt it was important that he, and senior players like Dinesh Chandimal, make sure the new players are better prepared for when retirements happen, and hopes the selectors stick to the same group for a while.

He added: "You try and share your experiences with the younger guys so that they can take it on and move forward when we retire. It's all about passing it on to the younger generation.

"We see lots of guys taking responsibility, now that we don't have the big guns," citing Kusal Perera and Dasun Shanaka.

"We are trying not to chop and change too much. We are trying to pick a set of players and keep them for as long as possible. There will be changes here and there but you try to stick to one combination and give them a good run."

Mathews, meanwhile, could miss the second ODI at Egdbaston on Friday, as he picked up a hamstring niggle that's resisting treatment.