Sri Lanka news April 17, 2012

Mathews must be wary of injury in IPL - de Mel

ESPNcricinfo staff

Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka allrounder, should be wary of managing his workload in the IPL, national chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel has said. Mathews has had several fitness issues recently, leading to questions about his future as a bowler, and so his bowling in the IPL has raised concerns.

"As selectors, we don't have any control over the IPL. We can't tell them what to do and what not to do," de Mel told the Island. "He [Mathews] may be thinking that [if] he bowls at the IPL, his value is more as he goes as an allrounder. He will struggle if he bowls 10 overs [in an ODI]. In the IPL, the maximum he will bowl is four overs and that could be possible. The duration of the game is also short. However, there is a strain on his body.

"The problem is if he gets injured. I have personally told him that if he bowls, his career will be shortened. If he doesn't want to listen to us, then I don't know what more can be done. People have to realise what is more important to them. Playing the IPL or playing for the country."

When contacted by ESPNcricinfo, Upali Dharmadasa, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket, said that Mathews had been cleared to bowl in the IPL by the physio and team management. "As far as I am concerned, when the necessary authorities have cleared him, why should Sri Lanka Cricket stop him."

Mathews, who is Sri Lanka's vice-captain, had bowled an aggregate of five overs in Pune Warriors matches against Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. He is coming off a calf injury that kept him out of cricket for a month - from the finals of the Commonwealth Bank series in Australia through to the first Test against England in Galle - and prevented him from bowling in the Colombo Test. In the past year he also suffered groin and quadriceps injures.

After Mathews had failed a fitness test in the run-up to the Galle Test against England, de Mel had said he potentially faced a future as a specialist batsman for Sri Lanka. Mathews responded by saying while he would have to manage his workload in Tests, he would continue bowling in the shorter formats.

If Mathews continued to pick up injuries, de Mel said he could not expect to be an automatic pick in the Sri Lanka team. "As there is a strain on his body, the prospects of him getting injured are there and then we will be forced to leave him out. If someone else comes and performs, then he cannot be assured of his place."