Leaving out Angelo Mathews in the final XI was an unanimous decision

Bipin Dani

Leaving out all-rounder Angelo Mathews in the final eleven for the first T-20I was team management’s unanimous decision, according to Ashantha de Mel, the Sri Lanka team manager. 

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The 33-year-all-rounder Mathews, who last played T-20I in August 2018 (against South Africa, Colombo) has been recalled in the squad for India tour.

“Mathews has not enough practice of bowling and therefore we all three decided him not to play him in the first match”, de Mel, who is also the tour selector, added.

Captain (Lasith Malinga), Coach (Mickey Arthur) and the team manager are the tour selectors.

“We are not sure whether Mathews would play in any of the remaining two matches”.

The team left for Indore on Monday morning. “We didn’t have time for the practice for the second match as it is scheduled on Tuesday. One more day gap is there between the last two matches but not between the first two. It (extra day) would have been welcome but it (scheduling of the series) was the decision between the two boards”, the manager added.

Australian team is arriving by the end of this week (the first ODI match in Mumbai) early next week and therefore the BCCI could not afford to give more relation to the Sri Lankan team, it is learnt here.

Use of appliances

The use of vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and electric irons went in vain at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Sunday.

“Please don’t ask how we managed to bring electric irons and hair dryers at ground”, the curator Barsamangal Baruah, speaking exclusively said after the match.

“It was a nonseasonal hail-storm and because of heavy dew we could dry the pitch”, he added.

Low hovering helicopters have been used in the past, in addition to hot air blowers.

“Whilst not using an electrical appliance, a former f-c umpire friend of mine said that during one of the first county 2nd XI matches he ever umpired on the ECB panel at Barnt Green, the local groundsman actually poured petrol on the wet pitch and set it on fire”, Martin Briggs, an English umpire, said.

The pitch was set on fire to dry it out in a Melbourne grade cricket game (between the St. Kilda Saints and Melbourne University) in Australia last month. The curator used lighter fluid to start the fire, which burned for an hour.

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