Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has vowed for his side to put their woeful time in 2017 behind them, and begin their rebuilding process while looking ahead to the 2019 World Cup in England. With only five wins in 29 ODIs in 2017, it is important for Sri Lanka to begin 2018 on a positive note when they take the field on Wednesday for their tri-series fixture against Zimbabwe today.

“It is a new year as well. We would like to put 2017 behind and start all over again,” Mathews told reporters at Dhaka on Tuesday.
“We want to strive to be the best. We want to play good cricket, keep improving every single game. It [rebuilding] is our main target. Winning is very important but when you are building a team for 2019 you have to look at all the angles,” he added pointing it towards the rebuilding process.

It will certainly be a new beginning for Sri Lanka. They’re about to begin another reign under coach Chandika Hathurusingha and re-appointed skipper Mathews, who had relinquished his post six months ago. Under Hathurusingha, a coach known to favour forming a system that sticks to a set process rather than trying to device plans for immediate results.

Despite the poor showing in 2017, Mathews reckoned the players will be motivated to make a strong start to the New Year, and pointed out that the same side beat India in India in an ODI just a few months ago.

“It is quite difficult to motivate yourself when you are not doing well. But this is our job. You have to motivate yourselves. The guys are all motivated. Just one or two losses won’t put us into a bad situation. Just few months ago we beat the strong Indian side. It is the same team; we have the skills and talent. We have to go out there and enjoy,” Mathews opined.

Sri Lanka’s familiarity with Mirpur and their happy memories from the venue will hold them in good stead, but Mathews reckoned that was ‘history now’.

“This has been a happy hunting ground for us, especially in 2014 when we had a great outing in Dhaka. But that’s history now. We have to start afresh tomorrow. We have a good idea of how the wicket plays. But you can’t predict 100 per cent. On the day, you have to assess conditions and situations. We have a different team as well and we have had so many fond memories and we are looking forward to some more,” Mathews said.


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