Mathews receives Sri Lanka backing


Angelo Mathews has been backed to lead Sri Lanka into the 2019 Cricket World Cup despite their atrocious form in the last five months.

Sri Lanka have suffered series defeats in all formats of the game against South Africa and Australia since November, Mathews' side only winning one of their last 13 matches.

The recent Test series with the Proteas exposed a fragile batting line-up that failed to score 300 runs in an innings, and as a result they suffered heavy defeats in all three contests.

Despite their woes Mathews will continue to lead the side, with the Sri Lanka Cricket board retaining full faith in the captain.

"Angelo has our fullest backing. We are looking at him leading us at the 2019 World Cup," SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala told reporters.

"We have some aggressive plans leading up to the T20s and ODIs [in South Africa]. Angelo is a kind of guy who takes responsibility and we are confident that he will help the team turn things around."

Former opener and current chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya absolved Mathews of any blame for their performances in South Africa, and called for patience.

"As the Sri Lanka team is full of young blood, it is not a surprise that they faced a setback in South Africa," the former captain said.

"This is not a time to blame and destroy Mathews' captaincy. This is a time when we have to strengthen Mathews.

"As a former captain I know how these allegations can badly affect Mathews' morale, especially during a series.

"We have to support Mathews, correct our faults and face the T20I and ODI series with confidence."