Mathews named SLC Cricketer of the Year
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