Cricket: Mathews upbeat despite Lankans’ IPL struggles

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, May 28, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is confident his side can impress during the upcoming Champions Trophy tournament in the United Kingdom. “Early summer is always going to be like this — wet — and it’s going to swing and seam.

“So I think that’s our main challenges as batters, and I think the bowlers have got the firepower.” Sri Lankan players taking part in the latest edition of the 20-overs per side Indian Premier League tournament have largely struggled for form, with Mathews himself even giving up the captaincy of Pune Warriors.

Now they must adjust quickly to the very different conditions that will greet them in England and Wales when the Champions Trophy — a ‘mini World Cup’ featuring the world’s top eight teams in 50 overs per side one-day international cricket — gets underway next month.

Sri Lanka, however, have impressed in recent world limited overs tournaments, reaching four of the last six finals, including the 2009 World Twenty20 — the last major global cricket event in England — where they were beaten in a Lord’s final by Pakistan.

“It’s not even a concern when it comes to a tournament like this becaus