More of Angelo Mathews is expected to feature in Sri Lanka’s T20 team this year, especially with him likely to bowl more frequently. This is late-career Mathews, who has been picked primarily for Tests in recent years. He may be motivated by a sense of grievance as he returns to the white-ball format.
After his first T20 international appearance in almost three years, Mathews seemed to criticize the previous selectors, led by Pramodya Wickramasinghe, for having their own “agendas.” He also stated that the new selection panel, headed by Upul Tharanga, has included him in their T20 World Cup plans.
In his first T20I match since March 2021, Mathews played a crucial role in a last-ball victory, scoring 46 off 38 balls and bowling two overs for 13 runs. He believes he should not have been kept out of the white-ball format for so long.
“After playing well in the last two Lanka Premier League (LPL) seasons, I wasn’t selected for the T20 World Cups without any explanation,” he stated after the game, where he was awarded the Player-of-the-Match trophy. “If decisions are motivated by agendas, these things can happen, especially since we haven’t even qualified for the Champions Trophy.”
Mathews’ bowling has been a point of contention over the years, with injuries affecting his ability to bowl in limited-overs matches. However, he has recently been contributing with the ball and is eager to continue doing so.
“The communication with the new selectors is clear. They asked about my future plans and indicated that I am in their plans for the T20 World Cup,” Mathews explained. “I’ve been bowling in the LPL and recent domestic one-day matches. If I can help the team by bowling a few overs, that’s what matters.”
In a recent match that he helped Sri Lanka win from a tough position, Mathews relied on his experience and partnership with Dasun Shanaka. They added 55 runs together to secure a victory, with Mathews emphasizing the importance of taking calculated risks and valuing the contributions of his teammates.