Already under fire after losing their opening fixture against Zimbabwe of the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka suffered a further blow as captain Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of their second game of the competition against Bangladesh on Friday (January 19).
Mathews has been troubled by a right hamstring injury since January last year and the injury flared up again after Sri Lanka’s 12-run defeat to Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Sri Lanka had not named a vice-captain for the tri-nation series, but SLC officials confirmed that Test captain Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side in Mathews’s absence.
“Angelo went for a scan today and the reports have been sent to England for the doctors who have been treating him to take a further look and give us an assessment,” an official told Cricbuzz.
Mathews will remain in Dhaka until the assessment is made. A call will be made on whether he will remain in Dhaka or fly back home on Friday morning. Top-order batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama has been kept on stand-by and will fly to Dhaka if necessary on Friday, but will not be available to play the game against Bangladesh. Either Danushka Gunathilaka or Niroshan Dickwella will come in as replacement for Mathews.
Mathews has been troubled by a series of calf, hamstring and ankle injuries since returning home early from the tour of South Africa in January in last year. He missed the tour of Australia and the entire home series against Bangladesh.
He returned to action during Champions Trophy in June, but stepped down as captain from all forms of the game after a series defeat to Zimbabwe a month later. On the insistence of new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, he agreed to take over ODI and T20I captaincy, but faces another lay off now.
The hamstring injury troubled him against during the second T20I International against India in Indore in December 2017. He missed the final game in Mumbai and was picked for the Bangladesh tour only as a specialist batsman.
Chandimal will now be Sri Lanka’s sixth ODI captain since July 2017.