GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Sri Lanka have been rocked by the departure of former Test captain Angelo Mathews and fast bowler Lahiru Gamage, 24 hours ahead of the start of the second Test which bowls off here today.
Mathews, one of the most experienced players in the squad, has returned home “due to a personal reason”, Cricket Sri Lanka said, while Gamage fractured a finger during the first Test in Port of Spain and also will take no further part in the series.
Replacements batsman Dasun Shanaka and all-rounder Danushka Gunathilaka were scheduled to leave Colombo Wednesday evening for the Caribbean but will not arrive in time for the second Test at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground.
Mathews was an injury concern ahead of the tour and while he was eventually cleared to play, he assumed his role in the side as a batsman only.
He made 11 and 31 at Queen’s Park Oval as Sri Lanka suffered a heavy 226-run, just after lunch on the final day. Mathews averages 43 from 73 Tests.
Gamage, meanwhile, finished the first Test wicket-less but fractured his finger while batting.
He has played five Tests and captured 10 wickets, since his debut against Pakistan last October.
Sri Lanka have never won a series in the Caribbean in three previous visits and the departure of Mathews and Gamage will be a further blow to their chances of breaking their jinx.
The final Test of the series will be a historic day/night encounter at Kensington Oval starting June 26.