Apology from Angelo Mathews for Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup exit

Apology from Angelo Mathews for Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup exit

Former champions Sri Lanka have suffered a premature exit from the Group stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The Wanindu Hasaranga-led side’s fate was sealed when the Netherlands successfully batted for the required five overs against Bangladesh, regardless of the remaining group outcomes. Sri Lanka’s failure to reach the semi-finals extends their streak to four consecutive tournaments without advancing past the group stage, with their last semi-final appearance dating back to their title-winning campaign in 2014.

Disastrous campaign and apology from Angelo Mathews

Sri Lanka’s campaign in the T20 World Cup has been marred by consecutive defeats against South Africa and Bangladesh, coupled with a washed-out match against Nepal, resulting in only one point from three games. Speaking ahead of the Netherlands game, Angelo Mathews, a veteran cricketer with extensive experience, issued a heartfelt apology on behalf of the team, expressing their collective disappointment and acknowledging that they have let down the entire nation.

“We’ve let the entire nation down and we are really sorry because we’ve let ourselves down,” Mathews said in a press conference. “We never expected this. We came across a lot of challenges but those are not something to worry about. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t make the second round,” Matthews said.

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Reflection on Sri Lanka’s expectations and performance

Entering the tournament with a promising record, including recent wins against Afghanistan and Bangladesh in bilateral series, Sri Lanka had high hopes bolstered by the experience of several players in the shortest format. However, their early exit underscores the challenges faced in translating domestic form into international success, prompting reflections on strategic improvements needed for future campaigns.

“That’s something we regret because [with] the way we played Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh in Bangladesh, I thought we didn’t do justice to our capabilities in this tournament. When you come into a World Cup, you can’t take any team lightly but unfortunately, 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,” the 37-year-old added.

Looking ahead to the final Group Match

Despite the disappointment, Sri Lanka remains focused on their final group match against the Netherlands, scheduled for Sunday (June 16), at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. Mathews emphasized the team’s determination not to underestimate their opponents, particularly after witnessing Nepal’s narrow loss to South Africa.

“We can’t take any given team lightly. We saw Nepal almost beat South Africa. 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 our pride,” Mathews concluded.

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