Sri Lanka news September 3, 2014

Mathews named SLC Cricketer of the Year

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Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews shared the batting honours for Tests
Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews shared the batting honours for Tests © SLC

An outstanding year as a Test batsman, ODI allrounder and captain saw Angelo Mathews reap the Cricketer of the Year prize at the Sri Lanka Cricket awards. Mathews also won the Best ODI Batsman and ODI Allrounder awards, and got a joint nod for the Test Batsman prize alongside Kumar Sangakkara.

Rangana Herath was the Best Test Bowler for the third year running, for his 60 wickets from 10 matches in the qualifying period. Lasith Malinga took home the ODI and T20 bowling prizes, having also captained Sri Lanka to a World T20 victory, while Kusal Perera won the T20 Batsman award.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella was SLC's Emerging Player of the Year, thanks to a bright start in Tests. He has pouched 12 catches and made two stumpings in his three matches so far, as well as hitting an aggressive 72 against South Africa on debut. He also won the domestic limited-overs batting award.

Mathews has been exceptional down the order in all formats for Sri Lanka, hitting defining innings in each of the series and tournaments that Sri Lanka have won in the past six months. He hit 1292 Test runs at an average of 92.28 in the past 12 months and 965 ODI runs at 53.61.

His 160 in the second Test at Headingley transformed the outlook of that match, but he had also struck a 23-ball 40 to help see Sri Lanka to the World T20 final, as well as averaging 196 in their victorious Asia Cup campaign. He has also contributed steadily with the ball, largely in the limited-overs formats.

Mathews could not shake Sangakkara's five-year grip on the People's Choice Award, which was voted on online and via text message. The joint win for Test batting was also the fourth straight year Sangakkara had won that award. In the past year he had hit 1502 runs at 75.10, which included a career-best 319.

Former Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardene was the major winner in the women's categories, claiming the bowling and allrounder awards, while Chamari Atapattu took the award for batting, in what has been a quieter year for the team.

Jehan Mubarak won the Best Batsman Award in first-class cricket for an exceptional season in which he hit 1165 runs at 105.90, and had been the primary contributor to Nondescripts Cricket Club's tournament win. Colts Cricket Club's left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Rangika was the Best Bowler, having taken 54 wickets in the competition, while Jeevan Mendis was Best Allrounder. Ragama Cricket Club's left-arm seamer Nilanka Premaratne and Tamil Union allrounder Sachith Pathirana also won prizes for List A cricket.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Poholiyadda on September 7, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    At least they have given the best Under 23 batsman award to the correct player, though he is never given a chance to play in SL 'A' team due to downsouth background. Tharindu Kaushal should have been the best Under 23 bowler instead of Dilanka Auwardt.

  • VikumHerath on September 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    It is pretty clear why a certain group of posters dragging Tharanga to even unrelated article forums :) since he got back his rightful place, after Kusal's 13 month Total Catastrophe! Common feature of these postings is, trying to find fault with Tharanga's every move from head to toes, & trying to criticize even his wide-range of elegant strokes (cover drives, straight drives, cuts, glances, well timed pushes etc., played all-along the ground, picking the gaps frequently)!

    The funniest thing is, they never see the things that he had already done @ 29yrs! Tharanga had scored more 100s than anyone @ 29 in SL. Also, no one has scored 5k runs at his age & quickest to reach 1k & 5k runs! His unbeaten 174* is the highest score ever played by a SL @ his age (2nd highest in SL ODI history). Highest number of 200+ partnerships is a World Record! So Tharanga had done BETTER THAN ANY @29 yrs in SL ODI HISTORY. After 7yr layoff he showed his potential in Test 8ins Av 38.2 Vs SA/Pak

  • VikumHerath on September 5, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    shanepe2003: It is pretty clear why a certain group of posters dragging Tharanga to even unrelated article forums :) since he got back his rightful place, after Kusal's 13 month Total Catastrophe! Common feature of these postings is, trying to find fault with Tharanga's every move from head to toes, & trying to criticize even his wide-range of elegant strokes (cover drives, straight drives, cuts, glances, well timed pushes etc., played all-along the ground, picking the gaps frequently)!

    The funniest thing is, they never see the things that he had already done @ 29yrs! Tharanga had scored more 100s than anyone @ 29 in SL. Also, no one has scored 5k runs at his age & quickest to reach 1k & 5k runs! His unbeaten 174* is the highest score ever played by a SL @ his age (2nd highest in SL ODI history). Highest number of 200+ partnerships is a World Record! So Tharanga had done BETTER THAN ANY @29 yrs in SL ODI HISTORY. After 7yr layoff he showed his potential in Test 8ins Av 38.2 Vs SA/Pak

  • plas on September 5, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    best wishes to Angelo and the legend Sanga critically only second to Bradman. But patriotic Indian fans will not agree.

  • on September 5, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    i mean how on earth can a player who averages 105 is not on the national side

  • Udendra on September 5, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Angelo Mathews is good to become ICC player of the year!

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Niroshan Dickwella (Wkt Keeper-bat) the emerging player, is a batter who has passed Cricket ALs with highest marks (many a similar schoolboy Cricketers of last 20 years weren't called even for 2nd XI matches just because they were just pure bats or bowlers. Though the selectors have always ignored them, they have always preffered henchmen that have failed Cricket ALs many times; unknown players with medicore performances too were given many opertunities at highest levels and also the fact that legends of local media want to carry on forever, many a talented schoolboy Cricketer of SL, give up playing soon after leaving school or after being in the Pre Div for few years) his brilliance at School, youth WCs and in the recent Premier Div tournaments should have been an automatic choice for all formats of the Game and should bat higher up in the batting order but not these aging fleet-footed reckless hitters.

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    Since confidence of quality players like Ajantha, Chandimal, Thirimanne,Kusal Janith.. have been brought to zero level and most consistent performers both at school & 1st Class Cricket such as Malinda Pushpakumara,RoshenSilva,AshenSilva, AngeloP,ShehanJayasooriya, Maneeshan, Romesh Buddhika, Tharindu Khausal PawanWickremasinghe,KusalMendis,Priyamal Perera,SdeeraSamarawickrema, … always been overlooked to promote henchmen. The next WC with these 4 legends could be another '99.

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Difference between Mathews & Sangakkara is, M'ws is a match-winner but S'kara more often than not batted for himself only (none of the legends of local media, who never had fear of loosing their places, has had ability to bat under pressure and there were periods, where they have failed 20-25 times at a stretch, sometimes played carrying severe injuries thus depriving places for deserving youngsters, it is only in SL, one can find this kind of legends, the true legends we know are men for all seasons & all conditions). The IPLs before the last showed how weak these legends were when it comes to execution of strokes. Mathews should give-up his bowling (action strains his spine a lot). His batting at No 4 is more precious for SL than anything else.

  • shanepe2003 on September 4, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    IMO problem with Tharanga (why he couldn't secure a permanent spot) he got a technical error (he Dosent have head balance which puts his front leg off the line) in his batting which hasn't sort out even after so many odis.apart from that Some of his favourite run scoreing options eg cover drives tend to go more square than when u compared good test batsman like sanga or mahela which makes tharangs strokes (run scoring options) more risky for test level.

  • Poholiyadda on September 7, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    At least they have given the best Under 23 batsman award to the correct player, though he is never given a chance to play in SL 'A' team due to downsouth background. Tharindu Kaushal should have been the best Under 23 bowler instead of Dilanka Auwardt.

  • VikumHerath on September 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    It is pretty clear why a certain group of posters dragging Tharanga to even unrelated article forums :) since he got back his rightful place, after Kusal's 13 month Total Catastrophe! Common feature of these postings is, trying to find fault with Tharanga's every move from head to toes, & trying to criticize even his wide-range of elegant strokes (cover drives, straight drives, cuts, glances, well timed pushes etc., played all-along the ground, picking the gaps frequently)!

    The funniest thing is, they never see the things that he had already done @ 29yrs! Tharanga had scored more 100s than anyone @ 29 in SL. Also, no one has scored 5k runs at his age & quickest to reach 1k & 5k runs! His unbeaten 174* is the highest score ever played by a SL @ his age (2nd highest in SL ODI history). Highest number of 200+ partnerships is a World Record! So Tharanga had done BETTER THAN ANY @29 yrs in SL ODI HISTORY. After 7yr layoff he showed his potential in Test 8ins Av 38.2 Vs SA/Pak

  • VikumHerath on September 5, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    shanepe2003: It is pretty clear why a certain group of posters dragging Tharanga to even unrelated article forums :) since he got back his rightful place, after Kusal's 13 month Total Catastrophe! Common feature of these postings is, trying to find fault with Tharanga's every move from head to toes, & trying to criticize even his wide-range of elegant strokes (cover drives, straight drives, cuts, glances, well timed pushes etc., played all-along the ground, picking the gaps frequently)!

    The funniest thing is, they never see the things that he had already done @ 29yrs! Tharanga had scored more 100s than anyone @ 29 in SL. Also, no one has scored 5k runs at his age & quickest to reach 1k & 5k runs! His unbeaten 174* is the highest score ever played by a SL @ his age (2nd highest in SL ODI history). Highest number of 200+ partnerships is a World Record! So Tharanga had done BETTER THAN ANY @29 yrs in SL ODI HISTORY. After 7yr layoff he showed his potential in Test 8ins Av 38.2 Vs SA/Pak

  • plas on September 5, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    best wishes to Angelo and the legend Sanga critically only second to Bradman. But patriotic Indian fans will not agree.

  • on September 5, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    i mean how on earth can a player who averages 105 is not on the national side

  • Udendra on September 5, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Angelo Mathews is good to become ICC player of the year!

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Niroshan Dickwella (Wkt Keeper-bat) the emerging player, is a batter who has passed Cricket ALs with highest marks (many a similar schoolboy Cricketers of last 20 years weren't called even for 2nd XI matches just because they were just pure bats or bowlers. Though the selectors have always ignored them, they have always preffered henchmen that have failed Cricket ALs many times; unknown players with medicore performances too were given many opertunities at highest levels and also the fact that legends of local media want to carry on forever, many a talented schoolboy Cricketer of SL, give up playing soon after leaving school or after being in the Pre Div for few years) his brilliance at School, youth WCs and in the recent Premier Div tournaments should have been an automatic choice for all formats of the Game and should bat higher up in the batting order but not these aging fleet-footed reckless hitters.

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    Since confidence of quality players like Ajantha, Chandimal, Thirimanne,Kusal Janith.. have been brought to zero level and most consistent performers both at school & 1st Class Cricket such as Malinda Pushpakumara,RoshenSilva,AshenSilva, AngeloP,ShehanJayasooriya, Maneeshan, Romesh Buddhika, Tharindu Khausal PawanWickremasinghe,KusalMendis,Priyamal Perera,SdeeraSamarawickrema, … always been overlooked to promote henchmen. The next WC with these 4 legends could be another '99.

  • Prem2248 on September 5, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Difference between Mathews & Sangakkara is, M'ws is a match-winner but S'kara more often than not batted for himself only (none of the legends of local media, who never had fear of loosing their places, has had ability to bat under pressure and there were periods, where they have failed 20-25 times at a stretch, sometimes played carrying severe injuries thus depriving places for deserving youngsters, it is only in SL, one can find this kind of legends, the true legends we know are men for all seasons & all conditions). The IPLs before the last showed how weak these legends were when it comes to execution of strokes. Mathews should give-up his bowling (action strains his spine a lot). His batting at No 4 is more precious for SL than anything else.

  • shanepe2003 on September 4, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    IMO problem with Tharanga (why he couldn't secure a permanent spot) he got a technical error (he Dosent have head balance which puts his front leg off the line) in his batting which hasn't sort out even after so many odis.apart from that Some of his favourite run scoreing options eg cover drives tend to go more square than when u compared good test batsman like sanga or mahela which makes tharangs strokes (run scoring options) more risky for test level.

  • Aju.Nair on September 4, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Mathews deserved it..he had a great last year...he surprised everyone including me with his consistency. sorry Mathews for underestimating you and Good luck..you are now the best captain around the world..a captain who leads his team from the front..all the best...Godspeed.

  • CricketFirst on September 4, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Congrats to All, U won matches for SL & made us proud. U all deserve it. Judges have done a good job.

  • vishwa1111 on September 4, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Thankfully Chandimal is not the emerging player of the year....he got that award for years without proof..finally awards goes to players who deserves them

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 4, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    Thanks for voicing. I wanted to highlight the need of a star opener for Sri Lankan test team which had been a void for many years. Someone in the calibre of sidath wettimuny or Mavan atapattu, who are recognised at the world level, Tharanga must have brilliant stats but he never will be one. Jehan's time is also perhaps have lapsed by now. Dimuth was promising in his approach, perticularly in last Aus tour, but failed lately. I do not buy into stats very much, personally, that could be improved later in the player's career anyway. The real challenge is to identify the right one, -personality, technique and resilience, early on.

  • on September 4, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Congrats...!

  • SLFan-2200 on September 4, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    @ Ala-Wageda-Goa: Jehan failed in few.??? what do you mean by this..? playing 17 consecutive innings and scoring just 254 runs @ Av of 15.87 in Tests & wasting 40 odis for mere 704 runs @ Av 22.70....! No one got this many opportunities with this kind of constant failures, except Kusal janith Perera in odis..! Be realistic mate, Tharanga never obstructed his way, but it was the exact opposite! UPUL THARANGA CANNOT be COMPARED with these guys, because he was the one who got the least opportunities to play Test cricket in the whole world (just 15 matches up to 2014), while having a 5000+ runs in odis. Remember, this is a world record!

    Appearing after 7yrs, we saw how productive Tharanga's contributions were in the recent Test series, accumulating 306 runs from 8 ings @ Av 38.25 vs SA/Pak.! You can't deny the facts with "sour-grape" crap! but, pl don't ever try to distort facts to promote buddies :))

    Congratulations to Mathews! He richly deserves it.!!

  • CrickLoverMelbourne on September 4, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    @Ala-Wageda-Goa : Maven is a late performer, agree with that, but Mahela was not. He performed very well when he was given the opportunity and consistent most of the time, other than few seasons during his career.

  • THEBEAST7 on September 4, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    Great to see all deserving players winning awards. Good luck lads. You make us proud and bring us joy. SRI LANKA ALL THE WAY!!!

  • Katta444 on September 4, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Congrats Mathews & Sanga for u r performances this year

  • anver777 on September 4, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Congrats Mathews & all other award winners !!!! Jeewan Mendis is proved again that he's a talented allrounder & should be in SL's XI !!!!

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 4, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    I know Jehan failed in a few of the 1st XI opportunity he is given, but I am a strong believer that he was a lost opportunity, to Sri Lankan team thus far. When you think some of the other players who exceled after being given so many opportunities when they failed, Mubarak was really unlucky. Both Mahela and Mavan are such examples. I still wonder, that Mubarak should get a chance, if he has any more years of cricket left, for a worth investment. Upul Thatanga got on his way in many occasions, but he never proved himself as a dependable test opener.

  • MelbourneMiracle on September 4, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Anji is the most complete Cricketer in current SL's team and his generation of Cricketers. He's a Legend in the making. Salute to Mr.Cricket!

  • cjchanaka on September 4, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Congrats all the winners.Anji you really deserved all the above awards,what a fantastic year for our cricket so far,BRILLIANT.And ultimate goal should be WC.We already have a fixed team except three positions which are middle order batsman following anji,second seamer and spin partner for hera.I expect those positions will be filled in next ENG series since we have to send the exact WC 15 or 16 squad to all important NZ tour before the BIG EVENT......

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  • cjchanaka on September 4, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Congrats all the winners.Anji you really deserved all the above awards,what a fantastic year for our cricket so far,BRILLIANT.And ultimate goal should be WC.We already have a fixed team except three positions which are middle order batsman following anji,second seamer and spin partner for hera.I expect those positions will be filled in next ENG series since we have to send the exact WC 15 or 16 squad to all important NZ tour before the BIG EVENT......

  • MelbourneMiracle on September 4, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Anji is the most complete Cricketer in current SL's team and his generation of Cricketers. He's a Legend in the making. Salute to Mr.Cricket!

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 4, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    I know Jehan failed in a few of the 1st XI opportunity he is given, but I am a strong believer that he was a lost opportunity, to Sri Lankan team thus far. When you think some of the other players who exceled after being given so many opportunities when they failed, Mubarak was really unlucky. Both Mahela and Mavan are such examples. I still wonder, that Mubarak should get a chance, if he has any more years of cricket left, for a worth investment. Upul Thatanga got on his way in many occasions, but he never proved himself as a dependable test opener.

  • anver777 on September 4, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Congrats Mathews & all other award winners !!!! Jeewan Mendis is proved again that he's a talented allrounder & should be in SL's XI !!!!

  • Katta444 on September 4, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Congrats Mathews & Sanga for u r performances this year

  • THEBEAST7 on September 4, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    Great to see all deserving players winning awards. Good luck lads. You make us proud and bring us joy. SRI LANKA ALL THE WAY!!!

  • CrickLoverMelbourne on September 4, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    @Ala-Wageda-Goa : Maven is a late performer, agree with that, but Mahela was not. He performed very well when he was given the opportunity and consistent most of the time, other than few seasons during his career.

  • SLFan-2200 on September 4, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    @ Ala-Wageda-Goa: Jehan failed in few.??? what do you mean by this..? playing 17 consecutive innings and scoring just 254 runs @ Av of 15.87 in Tests & wasting 40 odis for mere 704 runs @ Av 22.70....! No one got this many opportunities with this kind of constant failures, except Kusal janith Perera in odis..! Be realistic mate, Tharanga never obstructed his way, but it was the exact opposite! UPUL THARANGA CANNOT be COMPARED with these guys, because he was the one who got the least opportunities to play Test cricket in the whole world (just 15 matches up to 2014), while having a 5000+ runs in odis. Remember, this is a world record!

    Appearing after 7yrs, we saw how productive Tharanga's contributions were in the recent Test series, accumulating 306 runs from 8 ings @ Av 38.25 vs SA/Pak.! You can't deny the facts with "sour-grape" crap! but, pl don't ever try to distort facts to promote buddies :))

    Congratulations to Mathews! He richly deserves it.!!

  • on September 4, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Congrats...!

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 4, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    Thanks for voicing. I wanted to highlight the need of a star opener for Sri Lankan test team which had been a void for many years. Someone in the calibre of sidath wettimuny or Mavan atapattu, who are recognised at the world level, Tharanga must have brilliant stats but he never will be one. Jehan's time is also perhaps have lapsed by now. Dimuth was promising in his approach, perticularly in last Aus tour, but failed lately. I do not buy into stats very much, personally, that could be improved later in the player's career anyway. The real challenge is to identify the right one, -personality, technique and resilience, early on.