Back in 2008-09, Angelo Mathews had just started his international career. But, in domestic circuit, he had already been considered as the next big thing in Sri Lanka cricket, with consistent performances both with bat and ball for A team.
During Mathews initial years in domestic cricket, Chandika Hathurusingha was an struggling Coach, Who was trying to make a name for himself through feeding players to national team as A team coach.
Mathews was one of those players, whom Hathurusingha sharpened. Later, when Mathews made his international debut and was trying to establish himself in the setup, Hathurusingha too became the batting coach of Sri Lanka.
By that time, both they had become very close to each other, had trusted each other’s ability and things were going smoothly.
Fast forward to December 2017. It was the time when then Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala brought Hathurusingha as head coach of Sri Lanka. Many in Sri Lanka believed that it was then SLC vice president K Mathivanan, Who managed to bring Hathurusingha, Who was a big shot in Bangladesh cricket at that time. However, the inside is that, it was Hathurusingha who was desperately eyeing on Sri Lanka team head coach post. So, he went behind Mathews and made several requests to back him for the post. Mathews, Who had still high respect for Hathurusingha as a coach and person, instantly agreed for it. He backed Hathurusingha unconditionally for the sake of Sri Lanka Cricket.
That’s how, Hathurusingha hijacked Sri Lanka cricket head coach post!
However, things started to change from there on. SLC made Hathurusingha a Messiah, instead of making him a Coach. Gradually, Hathurusingha became one man army and snatched all the powers from others. It was like Hathurasingha was running the Sri Lanka Cricket. He brought Thilan Samaraweera, an analyst from Bangladesh and made Sri Lanka dressing room his own. He was the king Now!
However, the results were not there to back brand Hathurusingha. And when Sri Lanka succumbed in Asia Cup by losing even against Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Hathurusingha put all the blame on Mathews, the captain!
The same player, Who had backed Hathurusingha to become Sri Lanka head coach, was thrown out from the team by snatching his captaincy. People, who knows Hathurusingha from close quarters, says he is always like that. Whenever a team fails under him, he puts blame on someone else, while he takes all the credit alone for success. He is the master in finding scapegoats for his failures. He had done the same thing in Bangladesh as well, with Mushfiqur Rahim.
But, Mathews couldn’t believe, couldn’t fathom that Hathurusingha did this to him! After Hathurusingha was the one, Who pleaded him to accept the captaincy again. He was mantly scattered, as Hathurasingha had already established a myth that physically he is not fit enough to play for Sri Lanka!
Those wounds of Mathews are still not healed completely. That’s why, when a hopeless Chief selector Asantha De Mel approached him the captaincy again this week, he politely declined.
It is not the fault of Mathews. It is the fault of Hathurusingha. He betrayed a player, Who backed him most. So, when Hathurusingha is desperately looking for a captain for the World Cup, who can save his job and pride, Mathews refused to step up this time. Karma is a bitch!