by Champika Fernando
Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga have been appointed as Test and limited over captains of the national team replacing Angelo Mathews. In the wake of the recent defeat against Zimbabwe, Mathews stepped down as skipper yesterday.
Although Chandimal is yet to secure a permanent place in the national team, the selectors have decided to hand over the responsibility to the former T20 skipper considering the future of the Sri Lankan game.
"Yes, there have been significant poor performances, and I'm humble enough to accept it. In the past also there were instances where I wanted to step down but I didn't want to let the team down at that time, mainly because there were no replacements. The team's interests supercede the individuals. Now there are candidates to take over, and I'm sure they will be more successful than me. I also wanted to give my successor time to build a team for the 2019 World Cup." Mathews said at a press conference in Colombo.
Video : Angelo Mathews speaks to Mirror Cricket about his resignation
Chandimal, who has been Mathews' understudy in the past, has struggled to find a place in the limited over side in recent months but his record in Tests have been impressive. Tharanga has led the national team on several occasions in the recent past replacing injured Angelo Mathews.
"I'm very thankful to the job that Angie [Mathews] has done for us. Captaincy is not an easy job. He's a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well," Chandimal paid tribute his former skipper
Tharanga's return to the side has been impressive as he has been consistent with the bat since his return to the side after a long lay-off.
I can’t say we haven’t done well during the recent past. We have had many ups and downs. As a team, we have to be consistent going forward. I think what we all want is for Sri Lanka to do well, so I believe everyone involved will work towards that goal," Tharanga said.
Chandimal's first assignment as captain is the one-off Test against Zimbabwe starting Friday at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Test squad includes uncapped Danushka Gunathilaka who has been in terrific form in One-day cricket and also fast bowler Vishwa Fernando who made his debut against Australia last year.
SL Test squad to play Zimbabwe
Dinesh Chandimal (C)
Upul Tharanga (VC)