Sri Lanka skipper Mathews unsure of Malinga's plans
Angelo Mathews does not know if Lasith Malinga has made his final appearance at a major tournament after Sri Lanka exited the ICC Champions Trophy.
Malinga, 33, has restricted his displays for the national team in recent years in a bid to extend his career at the highest level, but the expert death bowler is fast running out of opportunities to deploy his trademark sling-style action on the big stage.
Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan by three wickets in Cardiff on Monday to bow out of the Champions Trophy, leaving journalists asking captain Mathews if fans and opponents will witness Malinga playing again at this level.
"I'm not really sure, he hasn't spoken anything about it," he said.
"But he's been a great servant for Sri Lanka cricket. He's been fantastic. We saw the effort that he put in today as well. It was unfortunate that we dropped his catches as well," he added, referring to a sequence of fielding mistakes from Sri Lanka.
"He is a champion bowler for us."
Mathews stood by the decision to pick Dhananjaya de Silva, who was lacking practice and made just one run, in place of the suspended Upul Tharanga.
"We had to play the extra batsman, the seventh batter, because we knew there was some grass on the wicket and we were not sure of the toss," he said.
"If we were bowling first, we had the four seamers. Unfortunately it didn't go our way.
"It wasn't easier for Dhananjaya to just walk into these conditions and start scoring runs, we understand that.
"But we didn't have any batsmen left in the camp because Upul Tharanga was obviously suspended. We were left with minimal options."