England v Sri Lanka first Test: Angelo Mathews focused as Jos Buttler questioning continues
Last Updated: 11/06/14 2:47pm
Angelo Mathews says Sri Lanka are focused solely on the first Test with England and have put the bitterness ensuing from the recent one-day series behind them.
The five-match series ended in unseemly recriminations after Jos Buttler was controversially run out at Edgbaston in the finale, spinner Sachithra Senanayake taking the bails off with the Lancashire wicket-keeper a yard out of his ground at the non-striker's end.
Words were exchanged between Buttler and Mathews, and then England captain Alastair Cook had his say in the wake of the match, with the row rumbling on since - it was also the prime area for debate at the Sri Lanka captain's pre-match press conference.
“We want to be focused, concentrate on what we can do," Mathews said. "There are so many things happening around but we want to stick to our basics, try and do our best and win against England.
“We played pretty well in the ODIs and confidence is pretty high. We all know it is going to be a hostile series, but we are up for the challenge and we just want to enjoy ourselves and play some good cricket.
“They are coming to beat us and we want to beat them – it’s going to be a good series.”
Inevitably, questioning returned to the Buttler dismissal and Mathews continued to back his decision to uphold Senanayake's decision to run the England batsman out only a couple of days after his action had been reported to the International Cricket Council.
“I don’t want to see that happening again. Buttler was warned a few times – he did it in the Lord’s ODI and we analysed it after that, and they have taken 21 twos in the last 10 overs," Mathews added.
“He was backing away but we did nothing about it – we just couldn’t let him do that in every game. We warned him twice and, as I keep saying, I don’t know how to stop a batsman doing that consistently so we had to go for it.
“I don’t want to keep talking about it – we’ve been talking about it ever since the ODI series so we just want to put it to bed and move on.
“After the game we (Mathews and Cook) had a chat but it was all heat of the moment and no-one really talked about it too much, but certainly we don’t want a repeat. We want to put it to bed and concentrate on what we can control and, like I said, enjoy ourselves.
“He was obviously disappointed after losing the series but we didn’t want to talk too much about it."
Watch live coverage of the opening day of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka on Thursday from 10am on Sky Sports 2.