What’s the biggest challenge for Sri Lanka at CWC?

2019-05-27 at 09:04

Former captain Angelo Mathews believes that overcoming pressure situations will be Sri Lanka’s biggest challenge at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The 1996 World Cup champions and two-time runners-up, enter the tournament in England and Wales as the No.9 ranked ODI side.

They have won only six of the 22 one-day internationals they have played since January 2018 while Captain Dimuth Karunaratne until last week, hadn’t played any ODI since the last World Cup.

The experienced Mathews, however, urged his side to put the past behind them and “enjoy the moment”.

Speaking to the ICC, Mathews said “The biggest challenge will be in overcoming pressure situations, quite a lot of us have played in England, so we know the conditions.”

“But handling the pressure and the situations well is going to be the challenge.”

Matthews, who had captained Sri Lanka during the last edition of the multi-nation tournament, advised his teammates to embrace the challenge and express themselves with freedom.

The 31-year old veteran also found himself in and out of Sri Lanka’s ODI squad last year, with concerns about fitness and form.

However, he had turned it around, hitting two half-centuries and one ton in his last five 50-over games, including 64 in Sri Lanka’s warm-up defeat against South Africa.

In recent months, Matthews has animatedly celebrated his batting milestones, especially in Tests.

But the all-rounder has insisted he was not at the World Cup to prove a point about his place to anybody.

Matthews, who is currently Sri Lanka’s second most capped player in ODIs after Lasith Malinga, aims to pass his experience to the younger players in the team.

He said, “My ambition is to perform and be consistent.”

“For that I have to look after myself in terms of physical fitness and give my absolute best … and make sure I pass on my experience to the younger players so they benefit as well.”

Sri Lanka play their second warm-up match against Australia later today, before they begin their campaign against New Zealand in Cardiff on 1 June.