Mathews lauds successful training camp


Despite uncertainties of the composition for the upcoming tour to West Indies, Sri Lanka’s senior-most batsman, Angelo Mathews remains excited about the challenge. Sri Lanka were earlier supposed to play three Tests in the West Indies, but now with the hosts facing financial issues, one Test match could be converted into a short ODI series.

Sri Lanka concluded an eight-day training camp in Kandy as preparation for the tour. The team will leave for the Caribbean next week. “The training camp has been very focused and specific. When it comes to skill training, it was very organized. We also worked on our fitness. We have been training in all three disciplines for eight days and it has been a very good outing,” Mathews told Cricbuzz.

The training camp was attended by three experts hired by SLC on short-term stints – Peter Sleep (Spin Bowling Coach), Tim McCaskill (Fast Bowling Coach) and Dr. Phil Jauncy (Psychologist). “They have been working quite a lot especially with the bowlers and (have) contributed a lot. The other support staff were brilliant as well. The planning for the camp was so meticulous that we gained quite a lot from it. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t train under lights due to rain, but despite that everything else was perfect,” he said.

Mathews has played in the West Indies before but this is the first time he will take part in a Test series. He adds, “I have enjoyed playing in the West Indies, but this is the first time I will be playing Tests there. I am looking forward to it. The people are so friendly, fun loving and enjoy their cricket over there.”

When Sri Lanka won a Test series in England for the first time in 2014, Mathews was captain and was named Player of the Series. West Indies is a place where Sri Lanka have not won a series before and Mathews is looking for a good outing. “That will be a box to tick. West Indies have been a force in world cricket and it will be great to win there. We have not done that in the past and it will be a great achievement for us to win over there.”

It will be Mathews’ first series since returning home early from the tour of Bangladesh in January with a hamstring injury. “I missed a few games last year as well. Glad to be back. I had to work really hard doing rehab and I am happy with the way things have gone so far. I have received a lot of support from everyone,” he concludes.