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Mathews doesn't want to disappoint supporters

Sri Lankan captain says he will consult the experienced hands in his team as often as he can

Mathews doesn't want to disappoint supporters - Cricket News
Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews doesn't want to disappoint the fans of the side at home and abroad during this year's ICC Champions Trophy, which is being held in England and Wales between 6 and 23 June. 

The 25-year-old from Colombo admitted that despite Sri Lanka having reached numerous semi-finals and finals of ICC tournaments, it would be great to final lift the silverware.

"Despite making it to the finals of the last two ICC Cricket World Cups 2007 and 2011, as well as the semi-final and final of the ICC World Twenty20 2009 and ICC World Twenty20 2012 respectively, we haven't delivered," said the all-rounder. "I don't feel I can truly pinpoint what went wrong, but we'll make sure if we progress, that the next time we will try to finish off with winning the title. 

"It would be awesome to win a tournament like this and not disappoint the Sri Lanka supporters, like we have done in the past. Our job is to go out there and play our best and we always play to win, in the past we've disappointed, hopefully from the crowds point of view we can bring them some joy," the all-rounder added.

Sri Lanka is pitted in Group A with defending champion Australia, New Zealand and host England, but Mathews the all-rounder won't be drawn into picking the team to watch out for in the tournament as he believes it is anyone's game.

"When it comes to a Champions Trophy or even a Cricket World Cup, you can't pinpoint a specific side as it really can be anyone's game on any given day. Even an underdog can come out at any given time against any team. We will take it one game at a time and we'll see how we go," he added. 

When looking at the squad for the tournament, Mathews identified the old guard as the players that will be important in ensuring the side gels and the ones the fans should keep an eye out for during the event.

"I'd be keeping an eye out for the experienced members of our team, the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Thilakaratne Dilshan. In the bowling department, I'd go to Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulsekara. 

"I think we've got a good balanced team and we have a few youngsters coming through too and they have risen up to the occasion a number of times and I feel if everyone gels together we'll move forward in the right direction for the tournament," admitted Mathews.

Mathews concluded by calling on the Sri Lankan fans across the UK to come out and support the side when it plays in the tournament: "We have huge Sri Lanka communities in both the UK and Australia which makes touring there feel like you're playing in a home fixture sometimes. 

"It would be fantastic to get the Sri Lankans based in the UK out to our games to support us a team, as they have done in the past, win or lose, they cheer us on and it's fantastic for us as a team to have such unwavering support."

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