Paul Farbrace, who coached Sri Lanka during two successful spells between 2007 and 2014, has backed Angelo Matthews to fire the Lions into the post Sangakkara / Jayawardene era.
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka’s most successful captain and great middle-order run machine, retired from Test cricket in August 2014. Kumar Sangakkara is currently preparing to play his last Test against India in Galle next week. The two legends combined have provided their country with over 24,000 Test runs and 72 centuries. Add to that almost 30,000 one-day runs and 45 centuries and you begin to appreciate the gargantuan crater they leave in the Sri Lanka dressing room.
“Because they are two champions of world and international cricket they are hard to replace,” Farbrace said. “Mahaela’s the greatest captain Sri Lanka have ever had. Sanga arguably the greatest player they’ve ever had. And to lose the two of them in the space of 12 months is a huge blow for them.
But Farbrace believes the country he still has a strong affection for, despite now being second in command with his native England, has enough young talent to remain strong. And with captain Angelo Matthews at the helm he thinks the future is bright and the 28-year-old has all the qualities to become a Sri Lankan legend himself.
“They have some brilliant young cricketers coming through,” Farbrace insisted. “Angelo Matthew, I think, will go on and be one of the best players in the world and he’ll rival Mahaela and Sanga for what he’ll achieve when he finally retires, because I think he is a magnificent cricketer all-round.
“But as a batsman I think his runs will start to become more and more evident because he’ll step up to the plate a bit more.”
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
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