Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka allrounder, will lead Pune Warriors in IPL 2013. Mathews takes over Warriors' captaincy from Sourav Ganguly, who will not play in this year's IPL.
The decision to appoint Mathews would mean Warriors will be without their regular captain when playing their away game against Chennai Super Kings, following the IPL governing council's decision to exclude Sri Lankan players from matches in Chennai.
He wasn't the first choice captain for Warriors. However, once Australia captain Michael Clarke, their preferred choice, was ruled out of this edition of the tournament due to a back injury - one that also forced him to miss the last Test in India - it was clear that Sri Lanka's Test and ODI leader would take over.
Mathews thus becomes the fourth captain to lead Warriors, who open their third IPL campaign with an away game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 5. While Yuvraj Singh led the team in their inaugural season in 2011, Sourav Ganguly and Steven Smith shared the responsibility in Yuvraj's absence last year due to illness. This year, despite Yuvraj having recovered from his rare germ cell cancer, it was known even before the auction on February 3 that the possibility of him leading the team was remote. "Both him and the owners were reluctant to have him as the skipper since Yuvi the allrounder is so much more important to the balance of the team than Yuvi the captain," an insider said.
Mathews, in all likelihood, will be one of three Sri Lankans to captain IPL teams this year, with Mahela Jayawardene leading Delhi Daredevils and Kumar Sangakkara in charge of Sunrisers Hyderabad. The franchises have already shown concern over the decision to keep the Sri Lankan players away from the Chennai games due to political tensions, saying that Super Kings may subsequently have an added advantage in their home games.
Former South Africa quick Allan Donald, who was initially appointed Warriors' bowling coach last season, has been named the franchise's head coach. Former India batsman, Pravin Amre, will continue in the role of assistant coach. Trainer Rob Walters, who had previously worked with South Africa and Delhi Daredevils, has been signed as fielding coach and fitness trainer.