Sri Lanka drop most senior player from ODI squad to face England after woeful Asia Cup

Angelo Mathews has been removed from his post as Sri Lanka ODI captain in the lead up to the England series, Sri Lanka Cricket have confirmed.

The governing body has cited fitness issues behind the reasons for stripping Mathews of the captaincy and dropping him from the team completely.

Sri Lanka failed to post a score over 160 in their two matches of the ten-team tournament and SLC have made sure the buck stops with the team’s captain, as a 137-run defeat to Bangladesh and 91-run loss to Afghanistan thrust selectors into action.

The dropping of Mathews, Sri Lanka’s best batsman in the ODI format over the past two years, continues the hardline approach of new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha.

Appointed late last year to succeed Graham Ford, Hathurusingha was said to have banned music at training sessions earlier this year and brought back veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga to the fold.

And prior to axing Mathews, the former Bangladesh coach had publicly criticised the player for his slow running between the wickets.

Test captain Dinesh Chandimal will now lead the side across the five ODI matches to be played next month, with the first coming at Dambulla on October 10.

Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha

Stand-bys: Shehan Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay

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