Dinesh Chandimal was appointed the Sri Lankan Test captain while Upul Tharanga was made the captain for the limited-overs formats after Angelo Mathews stepped down from the role across formats on Tuesday (July 11).
Sri Lanka Cricket made the official announcement on Wednesday while announcing the squad for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe starting in Colombo on Friday.
Mathews, meanwhile, confirmed his successors in a press conference a day after he stepped down following Sri Lanka’s unexpected 2-3 One-Day International series loss to Zimbabwe.
“Yes, there have been significant poor performances, and I’m humble enough to accept it,” he said. “In the past also there were instances where I wanted to step down but I didn’t want to let the team down at that time, mainly because there were no replacements. The team’s interests supercede the individuals.
“Now there are candidates to take over, and I’m sure they will be more successful than me. I also wanted to give my successor time to build a team for the 2019 World Cup.”
Chandimal stressed that Mathews still had plenty to offer to the team.
“I’m very thankful to the job that Angie (Mathews) has done for us,” he said. “Captaincy is not an easy job. He’s a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well.”
Chandimal, 27, has never led in a Test match but has the experience of being Mathews’s deputy, apart from leading the team in Twenty20 Internationals in the past. He averages a healthy 42.33 after 36 Tests, but his recent form in ODI cricket has been poor: Chandimal has managed only one half-century in his last ten innings before the appointment.
Tharanga, 32, has the experience of leading in T20Is and ODIs when Mathews was out with injury, and even stepped in as captain for Sri Lanka’s first game of the Champions Trophy last month. He is a much more experienced campaigner having played 207 ODIs apart from 16 T20Is since he made his international debut in 2005.
Chandimal’s first assignment will be the one-off Test against Zimbabwe that begins on Friday. Tharanga will kick-start his role as full-time captain of the limited-overs teams against India at home next month.
Squad for Zimbabwe Test: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara.