BENGALURU: Sri Lanka cricket is currently undergoing a difficult phase with problems both on and off the field. If one looks at their recent performances, it has been poor. It is not only about their recently concluded tour against England, where they failed to win a single match. In the last 10 T20I series, they have won just one.
The scene does not look any better in the 50-over format, winning just three of the last ten ODI series. If things do not improve, they might fail to qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup as well. However, the mess does not end there. The off-field problems are quite alarming. Last month, three players were sent home from England after having breached the bio bubble.
Then, there is a contract situation with some of the players not happy with it. In fact, one of their most experienced players Angelo Mathews turned down the contract and is considering retirement. “It is a pity if he has decided to quit at this stage,” Sri Lanka great Aravinda de Silva said. “I see him as a guy who contributed a lot to Sri Lanka cricket.
Any senior players, I would not like to see him leave in this sort of manner. These are trivial matters when it comes to issues with cricket boards and contracts and things like that. It is time for them to put aside all those and look at their future. If this opportunity was given to me, I would have taken it and accepted it with both hands and gone out there and done what I knew best (to show what he can do),” said De Silva in a virtual interaction on Thursday.
If Mathews, who has played 386 international matches, including 90 Tests, does decide to hang his boots soon, it would be a huge setback for Sri Lanka with the T20 World Cup coming soon. The series, comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, starting July 13 is going to be important before the ICC event in October and November. “They (Sri Lanka) need to get the balance and combination sorted out in the national team as soon as possible. Cricket, for that matter, any sport, is all to do with confidence.
As soon as you start doing well, and build that confidence, things can change. Any team that walks into that World Cup with booming confidence will do well. It is a case of bringing that habit of winning and building that confidence going into the World Cup,” said De Silva, who headed the Sri Lankan technical advisory committee that recommended Tom Moody as director of cricket.
(Watch the India-Sri Lanka series live on Sony Ten and Sony Six channels)