May 11, 2017

Allan's addition, a huge bonus for us - Mathews

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has welcomed the addition of former fast bowling great Allan Donald to the team's coaching staff. The South African joined Sri Lanka on a short, two-month stint and he is currently working with the bowlers in a week-long residential camp in Kandy.

Mathews joined the Sri Lankan camp on Tuesday (May 9), following IPL duties.

"It's fantastic to have him around. Given his expertise, Allan's addition is a huge bonus for us. He has been working with so many international teams and that experience will be handy," Mathews told Cricbuzz on Tuesday (May 9).

Sri Lanka is the fifth international team that Donald is coaching having previously worked with New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia. Mathews himself worked with the first South African to claim 300 Test wickets when he was leading the Pune IPL franchise in 2013.

"Obviously his knowledge on bowling is so vast, so the players can pick his brains. But the more important thing is that having spent so much of time in England during many of his county stints, he has so much to offer us on how to go about things," Mathews remarked. "We have some of our local coaches who are well experienced and have done a lot of good work," he noted.

Apart from the week-long residential camp in Kandy, Sri Lanka will travel to England early and will set up a two-week residential camp in Kent.

"The preparation we have been presented with is superb. Apart from Allan Donald, former South African wicketkeeper Nic Pothas has been added to the support staff as fielding coach. He is working so hard to improve our fielding standards. Fielding has been one area that has let us down in the past few months. Credit should go to everyone who put up this plan," Mathews further said.

"The facilities have been great as well. There's been lot of rain in Kandy and we have been able to use the newly-added indoor facility as a result," Mathews added.

"The time we spend in England is going to be crucial. The best preparation we can have is to getting use to the conditions. When we won the bilateral series in England in 2014, we did something similar by going there well in advance and that was a huge help. The nature of an event like Champions Trophy is such that you can not afford to have a bad game. We have to be on the ball from day one," said Mathews.

In addition to the residential camp in Kent, Sri Lanka have also arranged for two warm-up games against Scotland. "We need to use those games to acclimatize. We are looking at playing the same guys who will make our final eleven in the tournament games. We are not going to worry about results in those practice games, but instead the focus will be on getting everyone ready for the competition," explained Mathews.

(Cricbuzz.com)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by cricbuzz.com has not been edited by SLM staff)

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