Hailing from a cricketing family, Angelo Mathews was introduced to the game at his father’s cricket academy. His elder brother Trevin captained St. Joseph’s College as well. At St. Joseph’s, Mathews captained several future Sri Lankan players – Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Roshen Silva and Sadeera Samarawickrama.
He went onto captain Sri Lanka Under-19 and in the year 2006 won a Scholarship from the British High Commission in Colombo to play cricket in the UK. The same year, he made his First Class debut and two seasons later, he was drafted into the Sri Lankan squad. The golden boy of Sri Lankan cricket soon started delivering and his all-round contributions were vital as Sri Lanka went onto qualify for the finals of the World T-20 at Lord’s in 2009.
A big hitting middle order batsman and a medium-fast bowler, Mathews provided the balance to the side that the Sri Lankans had lacked for ages. The world took note of his batting prowess during an ODI at the MCG, in which Sri Lanka were chasing 240 to win, but looked to be done and dusted at 107 for eight. What following was a stunning counterattack by Mathews, who added 132 runs for the ninth wicket with Lasith Malinga, a World Record, to guide his team to a one wicket win. The tourists took a 1-0 lead and went onto record their maiden series win in Australia by winning the next game in Sydney.
Groomed to take over the captaincy under Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Mathews was elevated to captaincy in 2012. He quit the job in 2017 after Sri Lanka’s shock defeat to Zimbabwe. He took over the limited overs captaincy six months later but was axed nine months into the job as Sri Lanka made a humiliating first round exit in the Asia Cup.
A series of injuries to his lower body – ankle, calf, hamstring and side has forced him to miss quite a lot of cricket in the last two years.
Mathews will play the role of finisher during the World Cup.