Island Cricket

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Atapattu's tour in doubt after outburst

Marvan Atapattu may be sent home following his outburst against the Sri Lanka selectors on the third day at the Gabba when he branded them a set of muppets, headed by a joker.

The selectors will discuss whether to take any disciplinary action against Atapattu for his comments before the end of the match and a decision will be made about whether he will remain in Australia for the second and final Test in Hobart next week.

The team manager, Shriyan Samararatne, said on Sunday that the board was considering its options. "They will call me back in the next day or two after the senior people on the board discuss it," Samararatne told the AAP news agency.

In the meantime, the head of selectors Ashanta de Mel has dismissed the 'joker' comment. "I do not want to comment and I want to ignore his comments," de Mel told AFP. "All that I am keen as the chief selector is to see Sri Lankan batsmen save the Test."

Samararatne also stressed the issue would not affect the team's on-field performance. "The players are not bothered when someone says something about selection," he said. "So they will get on the with the game. Marvan has confirmed there is no problem in the team so I think the players shouldn't be concerned. They should be upset if they are criticised, but not anybody else."

Atapattu was a late inclusion on the tour following a ministerial intervention to bring him into the squad. He top scored in Sri Lanka's first innings with 51 after spending nearly two years out of the Test team.

© Cricinfo

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