Mathews Twenty20 captain, Malinga deputy

Angelo Mathews has been appointed Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 captain for a period of one year starting with the Twenty20 against New Zealand at Pallekele on October 30. The 25-year-old allrounder succeeds Mahela Jayawardene, who quit the Twenty20 captaincy after the World Twenty20 final.

“We are giving Mathews a free hand to captain the T20 side for one year, after which we will review his performance,” chief selector Ashantha de Mel said.

Mathews has been vice-captain since July last year, and is the most obvious candidate to be Sri Lanka’s next captain in all forms. His elevation to the T20 captaincy is an indication that he remains the frontrunner for the Test and ODI captaincy.

The selectors may also have to name a new Test and ODI captain as early as February next year, with Jayawardene set to reassess his role as captain after Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia. Jayawardene took the reins from Tillakaratne Dilshan in January, and has seen himself as a caretaker captain in that time, holding the position only until a younger team member is ready to lead.

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been named vice-captain, also for a one-year term.

New Zealand’s tour to Sri Lanka includes two Tests and five one dayers, in addition to the one-off Twenty20. (Cricinfo)