Anyone but Mathews, please!

By Daniel Johnpillai | June 30, 2016

Sri Lanka were defeat by England in both the Test and ODI series, and the heat is on the skipper to swiftly change things around. © AFP PHOTO

How often have you had or heard a conversation about Angelo Mathews's captaincy go something like this:

"Machang, Mathews is a poor captain. He's losing us games."

"I know, machang. Sad state of affairs. But who else?"

And that's normally where the discussion ends. With a sad shrug the conversation moves on to the next topic, be it the latest cricketer to get a call-up after a decade or more, or whether Dinesh Chandimal has more teeth than the entire English squad put together.

After a third soul-destroying, one-dimensional performance on the field in the fourth one-dayer, where England knocked off 308 with so much ease that you would have thought they were chasing 30, the breaking point was reached. For me, at least.

There is nothing wrong with losing legitimately against an opponent who is better on the day, but watching our captain employ the same flaccid, uninspired tactics repeatedly is like being made to watch the same car crash in slow motion, again, and again, and again.

The script is often written before the game has even begun, with the only question being: 'will we manage to create an early advantage before completely squandering it, or will we be down-and-out from start to finish?'.

It has become psychologically and emotionally hazardous to watch Sri Lanka play, as whatever hope or excitement you can conjure up before the toss, attempting to kid yourself that this time it will be different, is invariably crushed completely by the end of the game in a variety of different but ultimately avoidable ways. The only moments of wonderment come when the tactics or skill levels on show are so bafflingly poor that it surpasses even your already low expectations.

You cannot blame Mathews alone for this. One needs only to watch him at work on any given day, or listen to a press conference of his, to know that he has neither the tactical nous, aggressive mentality or the charismatic personality that make a successful modern-day captain. It is puzzling, given how supremely well he knows and commands his own game, but nevertheless this truth is inescapable.

Yet it is not Mathews, but the board that must take the blame for his failure. Metaphors involving flogging and dead horses come to mind. Expecting fresh perspective or thought leadership from that lot at SLC however is as hopeful as expecting our team to defend 308 in 42 overs.

A change in captaincy has not more-desperately been needed in Sri Lankan cricket than today.

"Machang, Mathews is a poor captain. He's losing us games."

"I know, machang. Sad state of affairs. But who else?"


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. Click here to submit your own opinion articles.

© Island Cricket


Anonymous's picture

sack the bowling coach first then problem will solved appoint foreign coach

Anonymous's picture

Hi Daniel, How mamy first class matches you have played?

How many international matches you have played and captained.

Jeewantha's picture
Member since:
7 March 2016
Last activity:
7 hours 40 min

Anyone but Mathews
Put the tactics,bowling changes and field settings aside.Team desparately need to get rid of his negativity

This young team need an inspirational captain who leads from the front.A Mortaza or a McCullum .A captain with a do or die attitude but Mathews tries to avoid the death by hiding,always ends up opposition hunting him down .A captain who backs the youngsters but Mathews want old proven faliures

Anyone but not Mathews for sure!

Anonymous's picture

Anyway now we are already used to losing more often than not, thanks to Mathews selfish captaincy.'s picture
Member since:
16 June 2016
Last activity:
1 year 28 weeks

Stupid Chandimal should be blamed for these..
As long as Chandimal around , there w never be spirit..

He (Chanimal) is gready of his place as well as Captaincy

Chandimal isnthe one who tries for Racism in the team....

N.M.M's picture
Member since:
8 May 2016
Last activity:
10 weeks 3 days

well written article... my thoughts precicesly..
what i dont get is this chandimal hate... what the hell did he do wrong??? he's the leading run scorer in this series, didn't drop catches, didn't waste balls but still he's blamed... And for ones who say he's selfish and greedy for captaincy must have forgotten how selflessly he gave up captaincy @ wt20 2014.

Anonymous's picture

Mathews failing as a captain is Chandimal's fault?! lololol Well, this is new!

Agree with NMM.

Hating someone when they've done nothing wrong is some serious desperation.

What did Chandimal do? And where did this 'racism' come from?
'tries for racism in the team' - what the hell does that even mean?! :D:D

The haters have found something else that's completely invalid to hate on a team-player. From that comment, the people can see who the racist here is.

As one of the players who suffered the most due to politics in Sri Lanka Cricket and after being treated like shit, Chandimal has done well.

Mathews' failures, negativity and lack of an inspiring personality is his fault and no one else's. Unfortunately for SL Cricket, it looks like he hasn't learnt anything from Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan when he used to captain the team with them.

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
13 hours 49 min

This is now an old story and please machang tell us who would you rather captain than Mathews! That would be a better discussion as we all know Mathews has shortcomings AND he has no talent to work with. Please don't look past this elephant in the room and blame Mathews for everything.

Anonymous's picture

This is a very miss leading article.

In a summary only Matthews performed consistently for his country when all others failed to do so. (Who are on this cricket team)

You want to get rid of him now ? You should be joking.

I guess you want to put our cricket team in to a much more difficult situation.

If there is one thing which is working for SL cricket its only Matthews.

Anonymous's picture


What can Matthews do when there are no genuine wicket takers/front line bowlers?

During the commentary last match, Mahela even said, he doesn't understand what else Matthews can do here to change this match?

Yes, I agree, he could be more pro active with his field positions, but still bowlers should bowl to that field.

I think, root problem is not the captaincy of Matthews, but the selection. There are too many all rounders in this squad. Apart from the Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Pradeep & Suranga Lakmal who are the front line bowlers we have in this squad?

I don't think with this team, we hardly can win a match batting first.

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