Sri Lanka drop ‘scapegoat’ skipper for England

Angelo Mathews has accused the board of making him a scapegoat for the team’s Asia Cup debacle, which included loses to lower-ranked Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Angelo Mathews has not been included in the 15-man squad for the five ODIs and the one-off T20 against England beginning on October 10.   -  AP

Sri Lanka’s sacked skipper Angelo Mathews was dropped on Wednesday from the One-Day International and Twenty20 squads against England after he accused the board of making him a scapegoat for the team’s Asia Cup debacle.

The 31-year-old all-rounder was not included in the 15-man squad for the five ODIs and the one-off T20 against England beginning on October 10.

Cricket officials said fitness concerns forced them to drop Mathews. However, he was retained in the Test squad, officials said.

“I have been made the scapegoat in this entire saga of Sri Lanka’s dismal performance against Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup,” Mathews said in a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket after he was sacked earlier this week as ODI and T20 captain.

The board said it asked Mathews to step down and allow Dinesh Chandimal to lead Sri Lanka against England in all three formats of the game.

The sacking followed Sri Lanka’s drubbing in the Asia Cup, with losses to lower-ranked Afghanistan and Bangladesh ensuring its quick exit from the competition.

Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dikwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha and Kusal Perera.