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November 13, 2007
The Sri Lanka selectors have kept Marvan Atapattu on the tour of Australia to minimise disruption for the team, but will take "the necessary disciplinary action" when they return home. SLC issued the statement on Tuesday, following a committee meeting, which said they felt "distressed and disappointed".
Atapattu, then, will be considered for the second and final Test which begins this Friday in Hobart. His tour was in jeopardy when he called the selectors "muppets headed by a joker" in a press conference during his first Test since 2005, in Brisbane this week. Whether he will now be considered for the home Test series against England which follows remains to be seen.
SLC said in their statement: "Sri Lanka Cricket does not wish to disrupt the ongoing tour of Australia, especially as the second Test in Hobart will commence on November 16. However, Sri Lanka Cricket is very distressed and disappointed about the statements made by Marvan Atapattu on the selectors and Sri Lanka Cricket - and will take necessary disciplinary action on his return to Sri Lanka."
The captain Mahela Jayawardene had joined Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, in support of Atapattu. "He's worked really hard in the three to four weeks he has been with us," Jayawardene said. "His contributions at team meetings, in the dressing room and off the field have been brilliant."
Bayliss added: "The way he batted in this match, he was one of our better players in the first innings. He's batted well in the warm-up games as well and he is an important part of the set up at the moment. The comments he made didn't have any effect on his involvement in the team whatsoever."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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