Angelo Mathews, who recently made a comeback to T20I cricket after nearly three years, has criticized Sri Lanka’s previous selection panel for their decision-making, which he claims was driven by “agendas.” He expressed his disappointment at not being selected for the T20 World Cups despite performing well in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) and not receiving explanations for his exclusion.
“In the last two Lanka Premier League (LPL) seasons I batted and bowled well, but unfortunately I wasn’t selected for the T20 World Cups, and I wasn’t given reasons for that. If you take decisions that are driven by agendas, these kinds of things can happen – we haven’t even qualified for the Champions Trophy,” Mathews said.
Under the new selection committee led by Upul Tharanga, Mathews has found clearer communication and transparency regarding his role in the team. The selectors have expressed their plans to include him in the T20 World Cup squad if he can contribute with the ball, a role Mathews is open to as he has been bowling in domestic matches and the LPL.
“The communication with me and the new selectors is quite clear. They asked me what my plans were for the future and [told me] their plans as well. We had a very good discussion. They said that I’m in their plans for the T20 World Cup, and if I could bowl a few overs. I said: ‘Absolutely – if I can help the team in any way’,” Mathews added.
In the recent T20I against Zimbabwe, Mathews showcased his value by top-scoring with 46 runs and contributing with the ball during the PowerPlay. His partnership with Dasun Shanaka was crucial in reviving Sri Lanka’s innings and ultimately securing victory.
“When we batted together I talked to Dasun about how if one of us gets out it will be really difficult,” Mathews said. “We thought it would be better if we batted until the 16th or 17th over, and keep the required rate at an achievable level – around 10 runs an over. In the end we had to go after their best bowlers as well. We took some calculated risks,” he added.
With his recent performances and a positive outlook for the future, Mathews aims to continue contributing to the team’s success, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a manageable required run rate and taking calculated risks in challenging situations.