Sri Lankan middle-order batsman and test centurion Angelo Mathews has hailed his team’s 1-0 series defeat in the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy as one of the most successful moments in Sri Lankan cricket history. And the selfish prick has credited his personal batting coach and mentor, Michael Bevan, for instructing him to “fuck the team off – just worry about your own batting average.”
Mathews scored his maiden test century – after being dismissed in the 90s twice previously – in his side’s first innings in the third and final match. However, he took his sweet time doing it.
In a match that Sri Lanka needed victory in to draw the series and retain the trophy, Mathews occupied the crease for almost seven hours, soaking up 269 balls at the blistering strike-rate of 39. Mathews’ elation at eventually reaching his milestone was shared with the handful of spectators who had remained at the ground and not been seduced by the comparative excitement of the National Senior Citizens Scrabble Tournament, which, in a shocking error of scheduling, was being held simultaneously at a nearby venue.
The batsman himself appeared oblivious to the opinions of expert commentators that his innings was in fact detrimental to the interests of his team and would effectively end any chance of them winning the match. Mathews revealed that he felt “great” after the match, and satisfied with his “patient” innings. When asked about the final result of both the match and the series, he responded that he “couldn’t give a fuck”.
However, in a shock revelation, Mathews revealed that he had been meeting regularly with former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan, who had been counselling him on the mental side of the game. Mathews said the relationship with Bevan had changed his outlook on batting and was directly responsible for his maiden test ton.
“Bevan has taught me that the most important thing for me to focus on is my batting average,” he said.
“In the past I have been guilty of putting the team’s goals ahead of my own, but that is a mistake I won’t be making again.”
A perfect example of this new philosophy was provided on day four of the test, with Sri Lanka anticipated to chase quick runs in the hope of setting up a nervous fourth innings for the Australians. “The captain wanted us to quickly put on around 100 runs, giving us a lead of 200,” he said.
“The pitch was flat and initially I intended on following his instructions. As I prepared to face up to my first ball, I looked at my wrist where I had written the letters WWBD – what would Bevan do? It was then that I realised I was on 85, and had two full days to reach my century. From that point on I only considered myself, and the results speak for themselves”.
“The best thing was that the rest of the batsmen got out, so I ended up with 105 not out. That was a real boost for my average, which is now up to 44.”
Quizzed by a bemused press contingent on the future of a Sri Lankan team that hasn’t won a test match since the retirement of spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2010, Mathews replied that he “no longer concerns himself with the team’s results… to be honest, I just don’t give a shit”.
New Australian captain Michael Clarke expressed surprise at Mathew’s snail-like marathon innings, given the state of the match. “The pitch was flat, and we have Mitchell Johnson in our bowling attack, so usually we expect teams to score at around 4 runs per over against us,” he said.
However, Clarke appeared nonplussed that Bevan was now working with test cricketers from other countries. “That’s fine by me, just as long as he doesn’t start trying to work with any Australian players,” he quipped.
ThePublicApology contacted Bevan for a brief comment following the coaching revelation. He revealed, controversially, that he was currently working with Mathews on how to negotiate the short ball. “Basically, I’m coaching him to retreat to square leg in a panicked fashion whenever a bit of chin music comes his way,” he said. “That usually throws off the bowler’s line and length.”
Bevan added that he would also be counseling the all-rounder to refuse to bowl when requested by the captain – unless the batsmen were tailenders.
By Hugh Holden