Angelo Mathews plays a pivotal role in the national side. He has proved far beyond doubt that he is a genuine all rounder. In recent times Angelo has held the batting together in the middle order much to the delight of his team mates. Angelo has set an example of how a youngster should plan his future as a professional. Chairman selection panel Aravinda De Silva, tagged the youngster as a mature player who has come of age in such a short period of time. He now bats at number 5, and has the capability, to clear the field with his willow. He bowls with discipline, and is an excellent fielder. Sri Lanka’s former national coach Dave Whatmore called him a Gem, and stated that Sri Lanka is lucky to have Angelo Mathews in the side. Modest in nature, Angelo is a breath of fresh air both on and off the field.
BT: Angelo, pleasure talking to you, who encouraged you to play cricket?
AM: My dad was very passionate about the game. He played for Nomads, but I missed him when I was ten years old, because he went off to Dubai, and I was left with my Mom. Brian, It’s Mum who pushed me to play Cricket. She used to bowl, and then hang the ball on a tree with a sock, and I was made to strike the ball.
BT: Interesting, did this exercise help you in the long run?
AM: Yes I had to play with a straight bat, if you don’t middle the ball, the sock goes all over. I used to play soft ball cricket in a narrow street. Both sides what I mean is the on side and the off side had rows of houses. The rule was if you cross bat and hit the ball into any of the houses you are ruled out. This helped me to play straight.
BT: Angelo, at school you were more of a bowler, fair statement?
AM: Yes, call me a bowling all rounder. I had an advantage with my broad shoulders as a youngster, hence I started bowling fast. I captained my alma mater and Sri Lanka from under 15, 17, and under 19s. It dawned on me being the captain of the under 15 team, I had to bat with responsibility, think as a batsman, and this helped. I started scoring. I told myself, that I have to set an example to my team mates, which means don’t throw your wicket. This has helped me. I value my wicket, simple reason is that I love to bat for long periods of time.
BT: You have had your share of injuries have you recovered?
AM: I have had my share of niggles in the past, but now I have fully recovered.
BT: Who are your favorite cricketers, who do you emulate?
AM: As a child I loved Aravinda, I had day dreams of emulating him, Murali always fascinated me. Jacques Kallis and Flintoff are two overseas players I loved watching.
BT: Today you are an important cog in the wheel in our National team, your views?
AM: I am grateful to my skipper, and the coaching staff, for the faith they have in me. I know I have a huge responsibility. I love the challenge. I might not succeed all the time, but I will give my 100 percent to keep focused, and do my tour of duty towards my Country, and the team to the best of my ability, with sheer dedication.