September 24, 2018 / 4:33 AM / in a month

Chandimal to lead all Sri Lanka sides after Asia Cup flop

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Batsman Dinesh Chandimal has been installed as Sri Lanka captain across all three formats after Angelo Mathews lost his role as skipper of the country’s limited-overs teams following their exit from the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Cricket - Sri Lanka v South Africa Ð Sri Lanka Team's Practice Session - Galle, Sri Lanka Ð July 11, 2018 Ð Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal looks on during a practice session ahead of their first test cricket match against South Africa. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The 31-year-old Mathews was renamed as Sri Lanka’s limited-overs skipper in January, six months after the all-rounder relinquished the captaincy for both red and white-ball formats following a home series defeat to Zimbabwe.

Mathews, however, was unable to revive the team’s fortunes in his latest stint, which came to an unceremonious end after Sri Lanka crashed out of the ongoing six-nation Asia Cup following first round defeats by Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

“The National Selectors on Sunday decided to appoint Dinesh Chandimal as the ODI captain to lead the team in the upcoming England series,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.

“Accordingly, they have requested Angelo Mathews to relinquish his duties as the National ODI & T20I captain, with immediate effect.”

The decision has upset Mathews, who felt he had been made a "scapegoat" and offered to retire from limited-overs cricket, according to ESPNCricinfo www.espncricinfo.com, which published the all-rounder's letter to SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva.

“I’m willing to take part of the blame but, at the same time, feel betrayed and let down if the blame is solely put on me,” Mathews wrote.

“If the selectors and coach are of the view that I am unfit to play ODI and T20 cricket and thus not entitled for my place in the team, I would also consider retiring from the ODI and T20 formats as I never want to be a burden to the team.”

Sri Lanka have been grappling with a leadership crisis over the last 18 months, during which Upul Tharanga, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedera and Thisara Perera have also been tried as ODI captains.

From Oct. 10, Sri Lanka will host England for five one-day internationals, a one-off Twenty20 and three tests.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien

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