Angelo Mathews apologises to whole country after T20 World Cup 2024 exit

Angelo Mathews reflected on the campaign as Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the next round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

Angelo Mathews expressed his regret after Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the Super Eight round in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, stating that the team had "let the nation down" and "not done justice".

The most experienced player in the squad apologized to Sri Lanka on behalf of his team. Sri Lanka were officially knocked out of contention for a Super Eight spot after Bangladesh's victory over the Netherlands on Thursday in St. Vincent.

Sri Lanka faced defeats at the hands of South Africa in New York and later Bangladesh in Dallas. Entering the third game with slim hopes of advancing to the next round, their chances were ultimately dashed when their third fixture of the tournament against Nepal was abandoned due to rain.

When asked about Sri Lanka's tough campaign, Mathews expressed the team's frustration with how the tournament had unfolded. He also commented on the unpredictable nature of the format, where any team can beat anyone.

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“I think first of all we've let the entire nation down and we are really sorry because we've let ourselves down,” Mathews said ahead of the team’s final game against Netherlands.

“We never expected this. I mean, we came across a lot of challenges but those are not something to sort of worry about, but it's unfortunate that we didn't make the second round.”

“This format is such where you can't take any team lightly. I mean they come up with, they've got nothing to lose and you can't you can't take any team lightly. I mean we've seen that especially over the last few years also especially in this tournament, we have seen teams beating bigger teams. As I always say you can't take any team lightly.”

Angelo Mathews addresses media ahead of Sri Lanka's final game at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

As Sri Lanka head to St.Lucia to play their final game of the tournament against Netherlands, Mathews talked about finishing the campaign on a winning note.

“It's very important. I think we can't take any given team lightly. We saw Nepal beat South Africa yesterday. It's unfortunate that our Nepal game was washed out. But it is what it is. We have just one more game in the tournament, and we'll play for pride.”

“But it's another day tomorrow, and then we have to come up against the Netherlands. And the Netherlands are a very, very dangerous team. So, we hope to play well and beat them.”

Sri Lanka came into the tournament with three consecutive T20I series wins and famously beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh, but they couldn’t live up to the billing in the T2 0World Cup.

“That's something that we regret because the way we played Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh in Bangladesh, I thought we didn't do justice for our capabilities in this tournament,” Mathews said.

“The way we played against those teams just before the World Cup and then once we came back here and the way we played obviously the wickets were quite different but we didn't do justice to ourselves.”

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When asked about his own career and the chances he will feature for Sri Lanka in the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which Sri Lanka will co-host, Mathews said that he played every game as though it were his last.

“I play every match thinking it’s my last match because everything is uncertain, even our life is,” the veteran cricketer said.

“So, I try my best to do in every match for my team. I have no high hopes about playing the next match or a next tournament. So, there is some more time, so there will some things to be concerned about, but until now I have nothing planned from my side”

For now, Angelo Mathews and Sri Lanka will feature in their last group stage game against Netherlands which will be played in St.Lucia.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024