Kolkata: Dinesh Chandimal has been named Sri Lanka’s new Test captain, barely a couple of hours after Angelo Mathews stepped down from all formats on Tuesday. Opener Upul Tharanga will be the skipper in ODIs and T20s.
Chandimal has been Mathews’ deputy and led the shortest format in the past, while Tharanga became skipper of the ODI team following Mathews’ injury. Mathews did hold a press conference to announce his decision after Sri Lanka were beaten 3-2 at home by Zimbabwe.
“Yes, there have been significant poor performances, and I’m humble enough to accept it. In the past also there were instances where I wanted to step down but I didn’t want to let the team down at that time, mainly because there were no replacements. The team’s interests supercede my personal interests.
“There were two things working in my mind. The first is whether this was the right time considering the team. My honest opinion is that there are candidates who can take over the reins. I’m pretty sure that they will be more successful and better captains than me. I also wanted to give my successor enough time until the World Cup, to build up a team. Those were the main reasons for me to step down,” Mathews was quoted as saying by ESPN.
Groomed to be a leader, Chandimal was in bad form in ODIs and that led to his omission from the recent squad that played against Zimbabwe. But his Test performance has improved in leaps and bounds having scored 2540 runs at an average of 42.33. The new captain vowed to take the team to success. “I want to take this team and Sri Lanka forward, so I will put my heart and soul into the job,” Chandimal said after the announcement.
“I’m very thankful to the job that Angie [Mathews] has done for us. Captaincy is not an easy job and he was an excellent leader for us over four-and-a-half years. He’s also a terrific batsman and a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well,” he was quoted.