Colombo - Defending champions Sri Lanka said Lasith Malinga was stepping down
as captain of their World Twenty20 side on Tuesday after the team's
disastrous Asia Cup showing, with Angelo Mathews to skipper the team in
The announcement comes only hours after Sri Lanka's sports
minister sacked the country's cricket selectors and appointed a new
panel headed by former player Aravinda de Silva.
is going to be captain and (Dinesh) Chandimal will be vice-captain,"
Mohan de Silva, secretary of the Sri Lanka cricket board, told reporters
"Malinga will be in the squad. He is only stepping
down from the captaincy, but he has offered himself for selection after
the 15th (start of the group stage) because he is undergoing some
Veteran fast bowler Malinga presided over a
dismal showing by Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup where they were beaten by
the hosts, little-fancied Bangladesh, and only just scraped past the
United Arab Emirates.
While Sri Lanka won the last World Twenty20
in Bangladesh in 2014, the team has been badly weakened since by the
retirements of star batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
are eighth in the T20 rankings and few commentators have given them
much hope of successfully defending their title in the sixth edition of
the format's world championship which begins later on Tuesday in India.
who has been struggling with a knee injury, only played one match in
the Asia Cup in Bangladesh where he hinted that he was considering
The 32-year-old has a long history of injury problems
and gave up Test cricket in 2010 as he was unable to withstand the
rigours of five-day matches.
All-rounder Mathews is already the
captain of the Sri Lankan Test side, which is also struggling to cope
with the impact of Sangakkara and Jayawardene's departure.
Lanka are due to begin their defence of the World Twenty20 trophy on
Wednesday, March 17, when they play one of the two minnows who are
taking part in a prelimary round taking place this week.