Sri Lanka drops Mathews from Tests

Angelo Mathews (Gallo Images)
Angelo Mathews (Gallo Images)

Colombo - Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was Saturday ruled out of next month's two-Test home series against Bangladesh as selectors prepared to field a "formidable team".

The 29-year-old all-rounder, however, was "likely to be available" for the three one-day internationals and the two Twenty20 matches of the series starting with the first Test on March 7 at Galle, the Sri Lankan cricket board said in a statement.

"The National Selections Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket is set to meet on Tuesday to decide on a formidable team that would play the first two Test matches.

"Accordingly, it has been announced that Angelo Mathews will not be able to play the first two test matches," the board said.

It did not say why Mathews was dropped from the Test squad, but he returned home last month half way through the South African tour after twisting his ankle.

Under his leadership, Sri Lanka suffered a 3-0 Test series whitewash against South Africa.

He was also left out of the just concluded three-match T20 series Sri Lanka won 2-1 against Australia.

"Despite his absence, the selections committee is confident that the lessons learnt from the South African series will help in putting together a formidable young team to take on the first two matches against the Bangladesh team," the board said.

Sri Lanka has a good record at home and beat Australia 3-0 in the last series that they hosted in August 2016.

Bangladesh by contrast have only won three of their Test matches on the road since gaining full status 17 years ago although they have shown recent signs of improvement and beat England in a home Test late last year.

The last series between the two sides in Sri Lanka in 2014 saw the hosts win one of the Tests by 248 runs while the second was a draw.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9011 votes
Cricket
11% - 2340 votes
Football
19% - 4113 votes
Athletics
2% - 530 votes
Boxing
1% - 191 votes
Cycling
2% - 500 votes
Golf
5% - 1049 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1828 votes
Tennis
3% - 731 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 269 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 684 votes
Vote