Lanka concerned over Mathews’ fitness

Sri Lanka’s cricket selectors on Tuesday expressed concern over the fitness of Angelo Mathews, who is currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as an allrounder.

Mathews failed a fitness test ahead of the first Test against England and played the second Test only as a batsman. During the Test, he said that over the last 12 months, he had been nursing knee, quadriceps and ankle injuries and needed to manage himself.

However, a week later Mathews was seen bowling for the Pune Warriors last Thursday and then again two days later.

Earlier, he had also missed the final of the tri-nation series in Australia and the Asia Cup due to injury.

“We are concerned about the recent spate of injuries he was nursing,” Asantha de Mel, Chairman of selectors said on Tuesday.

“We don’t mind him playing in IPL as long as he doesn’t get injured,” he added.

De Mel said Mathews, as a vice-captain of the national team, figures high in Sri Lanka’s preparations for the World Twenty20 Championship to be hosted by the island nation in September.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan cricket purists question the wisdom of allowing the players to prefer IPL over national interests.

Players had come under severe criticism for opting to play in the IPL in 2009 also, while objecting to play in a hurriedly arranged Test series in England. (PTI)