I'm a 'scapegoat' laments sacked Sri Lanka captain Mathews

All-rounder threatens to retire from limited overs cricket

I'm a 'scapegoat' laments sacked Sri Lanka captain Mathews PHOTO: AFP

Sri Lanka's sacked skipper Angelo Mathews accused the country's cricket board Monday of blaming him solely for the island's humiliating exit from the Asia Cup.

The 31-year-old all-rounder has threatened to retire from the two shorter formats of the game after being dumped on Sunday as captain of Sri Lanka's One-Day International (ODI) and T20I teams.

"I have been made the scapegoat in this entire saga of Sri Lanka's dismal performance against Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup," Mathews said in a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket.

The board said it asked Mathews to step down and allow Dinesh Chandimal to lead Sri Lanka during England's tour which begins next month.

"The national selectors... have requested Mathews to relinquish his duties as captain with immediate effect," the board said in a statement but it did not elaborate on why Mathews was sacked.

But it follows Sri Lanka's drubbing in the Asia Cup, with losses to lower-ranked Afghanistan and Bangladesh ensuring the island nation's quick exit from the competition.

Sri Lanka were thumped by 137 runs against Bangladesh in their opening match of the tournament, and have now lost 30 of their 40 matches since January 2017.

Chandimal, who was already captain of Sri Lanka's Test side, now takes the reins in all three formats of the game.

His first assignment as the captain of all three formats will be against England where islanders will host the Englishmen in five ODIs, one T20I and three Test matches from October 10.