ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Angelo Mathews advises Sri Lanka cricketers to accept challenge and play with freedom

Former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has advised his team to accept the challenge and play with freedom in the forthcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

Asian News International, May 27, 2019 15:19:11 IST

Dubai: Former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has advised his team to accept the challenge and play with freedom in the forthcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

The 1996 World Cup champions and two-time runners-up, Sri Lanka come into the tournament as the number nine ranked team. They have won only six of the 22 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) since January last year.

File image of Angelo Mathews. AP

File image of Angelo Mathews. AP

"In a big tournament like this, you've got to play with freedom and embrace it, rather than putting too much pressure on yourself. Yes, it's a World Cup, you have to perform well to win it, but at the same time you have to embrace the challenge," ICC quoted Matthews, as saying.

Several players of their 15-man squad will be returning after some time on the sidelines, including skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who until last week had not played any ODI since the last edition of the World Cup.

"If you put a lot of pressure on yourself, it adds to your burden. But try and embrace it, look at it as an opportunity to perform, to do something better for the country," he added.

The 31-year-old, who led the team in the 2015 edition, had been in and out of the ODI squad in 2018 with concerns about his fitness and form. He has, however, overcome his challenges as he scored 64 in his team's warm-up match against South Africa, which Sri Lanka lost by 87 runs. Mathews insisted that he is not at the World Cup to prove his place to anybody.

"Each game is an opportunity to better your own performance. If you do that, the team will benefit," he said.

Currently, Sri Lanka's second most capped playing in the ODI cricket after Lasith Malinga, Matthews wants to pass on his experience to the emerging players in his team.

"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," he said.

The World Cup is scheduled to run from 30 May to 14 July in the UK. Sri Lanka will begin its campaign against New Zealand on 1 June at the Cardiff Wales Stadium.

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Updated Date: May 27, 2019 15:19:11 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
England 5 4 1 0 8
Australia 5 4 1 0 8
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7
India 4 3 0 1 7
Bangladesh 5 2 2 1 5
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 5 1 3 1 3
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3
Afghanistan 5 0 5 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254