COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC – Former captain Angelo Mathews and veteran spinner Rangana Herath will be placed under strict workload management for the three-Test series against West Indies starting in the Caribbean next month.
Cricket Sri Lanka said this week that Mathews will play as a specialist batsmen instead of a fast-bowling all-rounder, and could miss the third Test depending on his form in the opening two matches while Herath, a left-arm spinner, will only play the first two Tests.
Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal will also have his workload closely monitored during the June 6-27 series.
The move by Cricket Sri Lanka is an attempt to keep both players fresh for next year’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales. “Depending on the intensity of the games he (Mathews) plays, we will decide whether or not we want to play him in the third Test,” said chief selector Graeme LaBrooy
“If Mathews doesn’t score runs and gets out without spending sufficient time in the middle, we will play him the third Test.
“But if he gets two big hundreds and spends a lot of time in the middle, we will keep him out of the third test. It is the same with Lakmal.” The 30-year-old Matthews, who averages 44 from 72 Tests with nearly 5 000 runs, is coming off a long injury layoff.
Herana, meanwhile, has been Sri Lanka’s leading spinner since the retirement of the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan eight years ago and at 40, his age remains a concern of selectors.
“Rangana will only play two matches in the series,” LaBrooy said.
“At 40, there’s only so much his body can handle and we need to manage his workload if we wants to prolong his career.”
Herath has taken 415 wickets from 89 Tests.
Sri Lanka will open their tour with a three-day warm-up match in Trinidad before playing Tests at Queen’s Park Oval, the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia and a day/night affair at Kensington Oval in Barbados.