COLOMBO (Web Desk) – Lasith Malinga has stepped down as captain of defending champions Sri Lanka before Tuesday’s start of the World Twenty20.

The 32-year-old led his side at the recent Asia Cup where they performed poorly, losing to Bangladesh. He has been struggling with a knee injury but hopes to return for selection for their first group-stage match on 17 March.

Test captain Angelo Mathews will take over Malinga’s role.

The announcement came hours after Sri Lanka’s sports minister sacked the country’s cricket selectors and appointed a new panel, headed by former player Aravinda de Silva.

The new selectors also made two late changes to the squad, bringing in batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and seamer Suranga Lakmal for keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, BCC reported.

Sri Lanka won the last World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in 2014 but since then batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have retired and they have dropped to eighth in the world rankings.