Marvan Atapattu November 21, 2007

A fighter and a frank talker

Tragically, one of the finest batsmen in Sri Lanka's history, a technical artisan with a cover-drive from heaven, has ended his international days in a fog of injustice
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Look back in anger: the controversial last few months of his career might overshadow Marvan Atapattu's earlier achievements © Getty Images

Marvan Atapattu's retirement announcement was widely expected in Sri Lanka after the second Test in Australia. All his recent public comments, most obviously the amusing "muppets and joker" broadside at the selectors, indicated a man poised to bid farewell. Tragically, one of the finest batsmen in Sri Lanka's history, a technical artisan with a cover-drive from heaven, has ended his international days in a fog of injustice. If Roshan Mahanama had not already used it, Retired Hurt would be the most fitting of autobiography titles.

The Atapattu saga has been a sorry and disruptive affair that stretches back to 2004 when Ashantha de Mel, during his previous term at the helm, clashed with Atapattu, the captain at the time, over the axing of Tillakaratne Dilshan for a two-Test series against Pakistan. Ironically, on that occasion de Mel was determined to blood young players. Three years later Atapattu has publicly condemned de Mel for being too reliant on the older brigade. In truth, back then Atapattu was furious not so much because of the policy but because the decision was forced upon him without any consultation whatsoever.

Ever since, Atapattu has been deeply suspicious of de Mel's motives as chairman of selectors. While he was not overly enamoured of the team management as a whole during the time he watched the World Cup earlier this year from the bench, he blamed de Mel the most, apparently convinced that his omission was personally motivated. Unfortunately, like any top-flight sportsman with self-belief, Atapattu simply could not accept that the ODI team was better balanced without his massive experience.

Rather than try to understand that Chamara Silva's sudden emergence just prior to the tournament was the chief reason for his misfortune, Atapattu descended into a schoolboy-ish sulk. After being omitted for the ODI series in Abu Dhabi that followed, he grew even more distrustful and started looking at other options, signing-up with Lashings CC and starting negotiations with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Offered a berth for the Bangladesh series last July, he saw a snake trap where others saw a golden opportunity to resurrect his Test career.

The selectors publicly stated that they wanted him to play Test cricket and for Sanath Jayasuriya to concentrate on ODI cricket. Even his team-mates wanted the same, aware that even at 36 he had plenty to offer in the longer game if he could retain his fitness. Mentally he was far stronger than at any time of his career, and during the next 18 to 24 months he could have been a far better player than his final career average of 39.02.

The problem, though, is that Atapattu is a proud and stubborn man. And unlike many others, he steers his own ship. He felt victimised - not for the first time in his career - and he was not going to bow to a selection chairman he distrusted and disliked. Only de Mel's departure would have paved the way for a proper recall. But that was never likely. de Mel's political support base is rock-solid in the current climate. So Atapattu started to plan for life after Sri Lanka.

It is possible that he will wake up one morning and regret some of the decisions he has made during recent months, but this is improbable. They may have triggered his downfall, but his straight-talking honesty and open dislike of the extremely politicised cricket set-up in Sri Lanka have always been among his most endearing characteristics. Atapattu had little time for Sri Lanka's cricket administrators and wasted even less trying to ingratiate himself with them. When cricket politicians tried to get him to play their games, he invariably ran in the opposite direction.

It is possible Atapattu will wake up one morning and regret some of the decisions he has made during recent months, but this is improbable. They may have triggered his downfall, but his straight-talking honesty and open dislike of the extremely politicised cricket set-up in Sri Lanka have always been among his most endearing characteristics

Sadly this controversial last year might overshadow his great achievements as a player, and especially as a captain.

The way he fought his way back into the team after the abysmal start to his career, scoring piles of runs in domestic cricket, was a lesson in bloody-mindedness and determination. Once back in the team, he grew better and better as he gradually overcame all his inner demons.

His greatest weaknesses as a batsman were his nerves at the start of an innings, his often appalling running between the wickets, and the traditional subcontinental frailty outside the off stump, especially on bouncy pitches. However, these frailties gradually faded in significance as he matured in his thirties into a top-class batsman. Technically he had no peer in Sri Lanka and his unbreakable concentration helped him to six double-hundreds. His off-side play was his strongest suit and his skill against the slower bowlers was exquisite.

His captaincy tenure was cut short by his back injury, but he was also an accomplished leader when he was finally, apparently reluctantly, handed the reins. Indeed, another irony of his World Cup fate was that he had played an important role in laying the foundations for the team's success, helping to foster a new team culture that embraced egalitarianism, self-improvement and personal responsibility. This fact has been frequently acknowledged by the current captain, Mahela Jayawardene, who referred to himself as the interim leader for many months after taking over.

Whether Atapattu plays any further part in Sri Lanka's cricketing future remains to be seen. His abrasive relationship with the establishment will always make it difficult for him to fit in and the likeliest scenario is that he will carve out a career overseas. The ICL might be his immediate priority, and then a relocation to Australia to play club cricket appears an increasingly likely possibility. A TV commentary role has also been discussed. Whatever he does, though, one thing is for sure, he will do it his way.

Charlie Austin is Sri Lanka editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • navinjk55 on November 25, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    What is lacking in Sri Lanka and most of the subcontinent is independence and self belief. Atapattu has shown that there are Sri Lankans that can achieve much without snickering up to the politicians and power brokers, at least in cricket.

  • Angel2007 on November 25, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    As an ardent follower of Sri Lanka cricket I was bemused reading the above article.To my recollection Austin appeared in the Sri Lankan Cricket scene a few years ago as a reporter for Cricinfo.However,in due course through his close association with some of the Sri Lankan cricketers he arrogated to himself the mantel of a Cricket Guru and connoiseaur of the game.To the amusement of all he has commenced pontification on issues related to cricket, on which he hardly has any knowledge.He has become the mouth-piece of Mahela Jayawardena and now sings for them for his supper.He merely writes what his paymasters desire whilst his account gets credited with commissions.

  • dilruk on November 24, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Ever since I saw him play at Ananda College I was a huge fan. We even used to sneak out college to watch him play. He had an astounding talent and guts to match and was a great captain for Sri Lanka. He's probably been the most technically correct batsman in the game since David Gower and it's always been a joy to watch him perform. Thanks for the memories Marvan, all the best in whatever you choose to do.

  • malaya on November 24, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    Great cricketer! Great Man!! Marvan you made all of us proud!! Be with SL Cricket! I dont agree with Charlie's comments!

  • Dild on November 24, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    HI to all. I'm so upset as what happen to marvan. he was one of the elegant and best cricketers ever played cricket on world. but his days are cut short by the selecting committee. I think first of all guys who come for selecting committee should know about the game and should love that game from HEART. Then only they know how it feels. The guys few overs and played few matches don't know anything about cricket and what happen to their mind set when they play fool. Selecting committee chairman might did this for revenge but he should have thought about it two wise. What happen from this is all negatives which are 1. Running a Great players Life 2. Shame about Srilankan Cricket. If marvan is not capable to play at WORLD CUP as selecting committee thought he should be on bench for rest of the tours with guy call UPUL THARANGA and CHAMARA SILVA playing im sure THARANGA which doesn't bat fluently wont have any chance against Australians and he really didn't bat well on world cup, so kee

  • Sudewa on November 23, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    What I appreciate most in Marvan is not his fine technique but his ethical behavior as a gentlemen cricketer. It is bit disappointing that articles on his retirement did not talk about it. There were several occasions in his career, he walked towards pavilion without even looking at the umpire in occasions he is sure that he is out but when it is hard for the umpire to make the decision. Nowadays most of the batsmen wait till the umpires decision in appeals where its hard to make the decison by the umpire. But most of the time batsmen knows whether he is out or not.

    In that aspect he is a rare cricketer.

  • ignam on November 23, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    Dear Mavan, I remeber you as greatest ever captain as Ananda and Sri Lanka. You are simple, innocent and kind to the juniors those days and role modle to follow. Same you have done in Sri Lankan cricket. i suggest that all your juniors to follow you to their carrer progress whilist keep the head up. you have proved that you are still capable scoring even in australia against great line up in aussiee wicket. I hope that selectors should answer atleast now for keeping you out in world cup 2007. i strongly beleive that we had a chance of bringing that to Colombo if you were among Mahela and team at that time. All the best Mavi for your future. Hope you will back to serve sri Lankan cricket in diffrent form

  • Nilmin on November 23, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Marvan.. you were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I will ever remember your world best Cover Drive. Our crickers live and perform in a complex environment poisoned with political interferences and personal goals of administrators. The sad thing is that all leave with a determination to not to come back ever. In Australia, where the best cricket administrative and coaching system is available, the retired good cricketers start involving running the backstage affairs and groom next generation. Our adminstrators and coaching staff are either poor performs of the game or top performers with political motives. Where is Warnapura... Where are Diaz, Sidath, Aravinda, Roshan, Asanka and Arjuna as mentors to young cricketers ? Now Marvan. Next Murali and Vas !!! Maybe as Sri Lankans, this is what we deserved. I will lower my expectations and enjoy the moment until they retire. Good Luck Marvan. Forget the bitter past and enjoy your future with your family.

  • Philip_Gnana on November 22, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Instead of letting his bat do the talking, was out of character in his verbal assault on Ashantha De Mel. Was it not De Mel who wanted Marvan's experience for the Australian tour? Perhaps De Mel was wrong to have even considered Attapattu and should have given a rookie the job?

    Unable to accept the fact Sri Lanka did well under the astute leadership of Mahela Jayawardena and being deprived of his captaincy, he has sort to vent his fury on the chairman of the selectors. Mis-directing his disappointment with a verbal assault. Was he mentally sound to have been on the Australian tour. Sadly the joke has been on himself. Did not Sri Lanka reach the world cup finals without his input? A bitter pill to swallow it seems.

    Selectors do get things wrong from time to time in all sports. Sad to the fabulous cover with his sweet timing of the ball will not be in my mind when it comes to remembering him, but the legacy of what has been said out of frustration. Philip Gnana Surrey England

  • ranilb on November 22, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    First thought I got on my mind when heard about his retirement was "Can't some person close to him like Ranathunga can help him change his mind". We know Jayasuriya was dropped out of the team (in fact he retired before this happened) but yet came back to play for SL. Marvan does not have to step back because of a 'joker'. He won in Austrailia. It was just a matter of 'facing teh reality'. Marvan has lot to give to SL cricket. Unfortunately, he has given up the battle even before fighting it. I hope he will realize there are sousands of his fans are behind him! All the very best with whatever he chooses to do!

  • navinjk55 on November 25, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    What is lacking in Sri Lanka and most of the subcontinent is independence and self belief. Atapattu has shown that there are Sri Lankans that can achieve much without snickering up to the politicians and power brokers, at least in cricket.

  • Angel2007 on November 25, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    As an ardent follower of Sri Lanka cricket I was bemused reading the above article.To my recollection Austin appeared in the Sri Lankan Cricket scene a few years ago as a reporter for Cricinfo.However,in due course through his close association with some of the Sri Lankan cricketers he arrogated to himself the mantel of a Cricket Guru and connoiseaur of the game.To the amusement of all he has commenced pontification on issues related to cricket, on which he hardly has any knowledge.He has become the mouth-piece of Mahela Jayawardena and now sings for them for his supper.He merely writes what his paymasters desire whilst his account gets credited with commissions.

  • dilruk on November 24, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Ever since I saw him play at Ananda College I was a huge fan. We even used to sneak out college to watch him play. He had an astounding talent and guts to match and was a great captain for Sri Lanka. He's probably been the most technically correct batsman in the game since David Gower and it's always been a joy to watch him perform. Thanks for the memories Marvan, all the best in whatever you choose to do.

  • malaya on November 24, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    Great cricketer! Great Man!! Marvan you made all of us proud!! Be with SL Cricket! I dont agree with Charlie's comments!

  • Dild on November 24, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    HI to all. I'm so upset as what happen to marvan. he was one of the elegant and best cricketers ever played cricket on world. but his days are cut short by the selecting committee. I think first of all guys who come for selecting committee should know about the game and should love that game from HEART. Then only they know how it feels. The guys few overs and played few matches don't know anything about cricket and what happen to their mind set when they play fool. Selecting committee chairman might did this for revenge but he should have thought about it two wise. What happen from this is all negatives which are 1. Running a Great players Life 2. Shame about Srilankan Cricket. If marvan is not capable to play at WORLD CUP as selecting committee thought he should be on bench for rest of the tours with guy call UPUL THARANGA and CHAMARA SILVA playing im sure THARANGA which doesn't bat fluently wont have any chance against Australians and he really didn't bat well on world cup, so kee

  • Sudewa on November 23, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    What I appreciate most in Marvan is not his fine technique but his ethical behavior as a gentlemen cricketer. It is bit disappointing that articles on his retirement did not talk about it. There were several occasions in his career, he walked towards pavilion without even looking at the umpire in occasions he is sure that he is out but when it is hard for the umpire to make the decision. Nowadays most of the batsmen wait till the umpires decision in appeals where its hard to make the decison by the umpire. But most of the time batsmen knows whether he is out or not.

    In that aspect he is a rare cricketer.

  • ignam on November 23, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    Dear Mavan, I remeber you as greatest ever captain as Ananda and Sri Lanka. You are simple, innocent and kind to the juniors those days and role modle to follow. Same you have done in Sri Lankan cricket. i suggest that all your juniors to follow you to their carrer progress whilist keep the head up. you have proved that you are still capable scoring even in australia against great line up in aussiee wicket. I hope that selectors should answer atleast now for keeping you out in world cup 2007. i strongly beleive that we had a chance of bringing that to Colombo if you were among Mahela and team at that time. All the best Mavi for your future. Hope you will back to serve sri Lankan cricket in diffrent form

  • Nilmin on November 23, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Marvan.. you were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I will ever remember your world best Cover Drive. Our crickers live and perform in a complex environment poisoned with political interferences and personal goals of administrators. The sad thing is that all leave with a determination to not to come back ever. In Australia, where the best cricket administrative and coaching system is available, the retired good cricketers start involving running the backstage affairs and groom next generation. Our adminstrators and coaching staff are either poor performs of the game or top performers with political motives. Where is Warnapura... Where are Diaz, Sidath, Aravinda, Roshan, Asanka and Arjuna as mentors to young cricketers ? Now Marvan. Next Murali and Vas !!! Maybe as Sri Lankans, this is what we deserved. I will lower my expectations and enjoy the moment until they retire. Good Luck Marvan. Forget the bitter past and enjoy your future with your family.

  • Philip_Gnana on November 22, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Instead of letting his bat do the talking, was out of character in his verbal assault on Ashantha De Mel. Was it not De Mel who wanted Marvan's experience for the Australian tour? Perhaps De Mel was wrong to have even considered Attapattu and should have given a rookie the job?

    Unable to accept the fact Sri Lanka did well under the astute leadership of Mahela Jayawardena and being deprived of his captaincy, he has sort to vent his fury on the chairman of the selectors. Mis-directing his disappointment with a verbal assault. Was he mentally sound to have been on the Australian tour. Sadly the joke has been on himself. Did not Sri Lanka reach the world cup finals without his input? A bitter pill to swallow it seems.

    Selectors do get things wrong from time to time in all sports. Sad to the fabulous cover with his sweet timing of the ball will not be in my mind when it comes to remembering him, but the legacy of what has been said out of frustration. Philip Gnana Surrey England

  • ranilb on November 22, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    First thought I got on my mind when heard about his retirement was "Can't some person close to him like Ranathunga can help him change his mind". We know Jayasuriya was dropped out of the team (in fact he retired before this happened) but yet came back to play for SL. Marvan does not have to step back because of a 'joker'. He won in Austrailia. It was just a matter of 'facing teh reality'. Marvan has lot to give to SL cricket. Unfortunately, he has given up the battle even before fighting it. I hope he will realize there are sousands of his fans are behind him! All the very best with whatever he chooses to do!

  • Kasun_Rambuk on November 22, 2007, 17:26 GMT

    It was ASANKA GURUSINGHE faced this problem first.Then ROSHAN MAHANAMA.And now it's marvelously MARVAN ATHAPATHTHU.Who is next?(Mahela,Sanga or Sanath).......Politicians should do politics not cricket.All the selectors must be appointed by the Cricket board not politicians......So.let us wish Asantha DE MEL for his great achievement........(Let's get unite for the future of SL Cricket,our 2nd religion)....We'll miss you Marvan,Thank you for your great service..

  • manisharora82 on November 22, 2007, 7:13 GMT

    Marvan Attapatu will always be remebered as one of the finest batsman that Sri Lankan cricket has produced. His skill coupled with determination is an asset which every batsman yaerns for. Six double centuries mark his excellence as a batsman. But his exit from the cricketing world owing to disgraceful political motives leaves a question behind: What is the criterion of selecting the selection panel? Should a group of few people have the authority of playing with careers the way they want to. This situation is present in all asian countries, the latest salvo being fired by Indian chief selector Dileep Vengsarkar by dropping Rahul Dravid. The most unfortunate point is that nobody is doing anything to counter these activities. It is a high time that there should be some action items planned to counter the ever increasing stupid attacks from selectors so that no more maevans or dravids are left nursing their wounds at the behest of the didainful selection panel.

  • Mammon_ss on November 22, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Marvan is a great person superb Cricketer and person with a stronge Back Bone in boneless nation. Hats off to you mate for the survice you have rendered to this nation and My appoagies because we couldn't give a proper send off with you rightly deserve. It's Sad to see that you couldn't play 100 Test for Sri Lanka But mate there is much more you can do for us so Pl don't join ICL because that will close all doors. wish you all the best & hope theses Jokers & Muppets will Vanish for the shake of Sri Lanka Cricket. Osanda Weerarathna

  • Jehan on November 22, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    Good bye Marvelous Marvan! I have seen how you emerged from a fantastic schoolboy cricketer to a marvelous international cricketer and a captain. As a school boy prodigy you were a simple and humble kid and when you became an international star it didn't change. You were honest in your approach and you were a fighter and a frank talker as Charlie mentioned. We will not see a technical artisan like you for a long time. Yes your shots came from heaven. You are leaving in a time when Sri Lanka's cricket needs you a lot. But that's the way it should be.

    Now the joker can do all his jokes with his Muppets and we hope that the SL cricket team will not laugh with them for those dry jokes

  • Moza on November 22, 2007, 4:00 GMT

    From his school days, Marvan showed how capable he was to lead the Sri Lanka Cricket. Initially, he had some hick-ups. But gradually, he bacame as a icon of Sri lanka cricket. Copy book type Cover drive was his signature,,,,,Time to say goodbye to aonther greate Cricketer from Ananada college. We proud of you Marvan. All the best.

  • T_W_ on November 22, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    I'm honestly disappointed by Charlie Austin's article on Marven - it simply does not do justice for this great cricketer. While he does not possess the flare of Aravinda or Sanath - he has served Sri Lankan cricket well. The article goes on to provide several negative aspects on Marven - which I feel is unjustified. It is my belief that the only reason he wasn't given a single game in WC 2007 was personal - he could have play when Tharanga failed on a regular basis or at least the AUS game in which we rested Vaas, Murali & Malinga (I guess they did not want to provide him a chance to perform!). Though not to the same extent as IND or PAK, SL cricket too is quite politicized.

    I have personally known & played some cricket with Marven (during early 90's) and he is never arrogant as the article suggests - but yet he is a straight shooter which does not work very well in the South Asian context. He is a true gentleman and I wish him the best in his chose path.

  • dima_1771 on November 22, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    2nd only to Arivinda De Silva, how his later career has been handle tarnishs an amazing test career.

  • coolguy1972 on November 21, 2007, 20:49 GMT

    Talking of Muppets and Jokers, I remember Mohinder Amarnath once called the Indian selectors "A bunch of Jokers"; After so many years another player has said it. Amarnath, the man of the match of the 1983 world cup had an unceremonious exit as did nearly the entire team minus Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev;

    Selectors behave like dictators; For the players it is equivalent to slavery as they have no escape route; Play for your country the way we (selectors) tell you or you are out;

    I hope the upcoming ICL kicks all these boards on their fleshy areas properly and give an opportunity for players to demonstrate why their names are in cricketing books.

    Attaptu was a different class; I remember him scoring a centruy in England and taking his team to Victory when all others collapsed;

    He is a pleasure to watch when India is not in the opposition;

  • Kesara_K3 on November 21, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    In single sentence: "Technically correct fine batsman with qn elegant cover-drive." I would remmeber him as clam person and a very good leader.

  • TheGreatHypnotist on November 21, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    Cricket pundits in india says Dravid is the most unselfish cricketer in india, for Sri Lanka it is Atapattu. He had two weeknesses as a batsman, unable to play Hook and Pull, otherwise he would have been the best in Sri Lanka. A match winner in both forms of cricket, after Murali, sanath & Aravinda. One of his greatest virtues is his determination, without it he wouldn't have been in the team after a dreadful start. I believe if he had been properly guided by a good coach, someone like Sobers, he would have been an excellent player. He is still one of the most loved and honest cricketers of Sri Lanka.

  • CricketPissek on November 21, 2007, 14:01 GMT

    As captain, Marvan always spoke in a both straight forward and diplomatic manner. I remember how well he handled the media when they asked questions about the team's chances when Murali was injured for a series a couple of years back. SL won the series w/o Murali but he still handled it very diplomatically, not saying "See? We can win without Murali" as you would typically expect, but more in the lines of "We've proven that there are guys to step up to the challenge, but it would have made my life as captain much easier if Murali was around". When it was this same man who was throwing a tantrum, I HAD to feel sorry for him and feel how HURT he really must have been. Because I knew this isn't the Marvan we've known. Goodluck to him, theruwan saranai, and I hope he comes back at a better time to serve Sri Lankan cricket. We have people to step up to the challenge, but it would make life a lot easier if he is there ;)

  • Timothy_anthony on November 21, 2007, 13:47 GMT

    Marvan has been a great player. Sri Lankan Cricket will have to justify all the politics in side the Cricket. It seems like cricket in Sri Lanka is being ruined.

  • shibudohablue on November 21, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    yes, marvan atapattu is one of the best opener in this modern cricket. he made srilankan cricket in to a new height. looking at his record there is very few openers who proved themself as a real fighter.had he kept his mouth shut he would have played many more years for srilanka. but politics in srilankan cricket caused curtain for his fabulase carrier. i feel sad for him and also the cricket lovers of the world will miss him. all the best marvan. i also feel that you can make a dramatic come back if all of the srilankan cricket administration is dumped by the government and you will be a great captain again. good luck. shibu mathew.

  • sameecool on November 21, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Marvan Atapattu Is a One Of The Finest Cricketers in Srilankan Cricket, There Are Lot More Cricket he Can Still Play For Country,But Unfortunatly SLBC Selectors Have Been Done Some Bad Politics On Him

  • Mammon_ss on November 21, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    Marvan was one of the Greatest players produced by Mother Lanka after Roy Diaz,Aravinda De Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya.And keeping him out of the world Cup was a insult to the him and the knowlagable Cricket loving Public.He was good enough player to represent World Cup when their ere players (Arnold)just hang there without performing, He has been insulted by a joker who think he is bigger than Cricket

  • shaegoda on November 21, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    I am sad to hear the retirement of Marvan Atapattu, former Sri Lanka skipper from international cricket. He was a great servant of Sri Lanka Cricket. His ability and prowess in playing international cricket is unquestaionable. After scoring few ducks in his first two tests,(in fact having pair of spectacles in the debut test) he reached the pinnacle of the batsmanship in tests and one day arena. His statistics speak in volumes about his desire to score runs in international cricket. As a player and captain of Sri Lanka Cricket team, he performed to best of ability to uplift the Sri Lankan Cricket. I wish him success in his future endevours.

  • asanka on November 21, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    thanks Charlie for posting a fine good-bye note on our beloved former captain. the good thing is Marvan departs when everybody needs him to be with Sri Lankan team for another few months. people who did unjustice for him may think twice in their next move. good bye Marvan.

  • Ellis on November 21, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I will always remember Marvan Atapattu as an elegant and graceful batsman of class. He remains one of the few Sri Lankan batsmen to have had the skill and mental toughness to play long innings at the highest level. His final Test career average does not do either his skill, or determination, justice. His retirement is a sad loss to cricket followers all over the world, and especially those in Sri Lanka.

  • DushanVas on November 21, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    All the Best Marvan, & thank you very much for what you have done to Sri Lankan Cricket. Marvan is absolutely marvelous. His technique on different scripts was quite amazing. He is a pure model, who emerged to the highest point in Iternational Cricket from the grass route. Although he is a good cricketer, his way of habdling other matters related cricket was not up to standards. When he was included in the squad with the influence of the Sports Minister, Marvan had several comments regarding the Selection Committee (Even Prior to that) & Marvan's objective of telling the exact picture of selection procedure was achieved. But the comments he made while on tour in Australia is quite unhealthy. Marvan would have done this after his retirement. It is wrong picture given by a senior chap in the team. As you said Charlie, controversial last year might overshadow his great achievements as a player, and especially as a captain. But still He is great player & SL needs his service in future.

  • buyakasha on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    What ever the current issues that were on the scene, Attapattu is and was a great Cricketer. I think he would have gone down as one of the greatest in the world if he did continue another year or two more! Good Luck to the old Warrior anyway :)

  • kenny_israni on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    You always wonder if you are better off being tight-lipped or a frank talker while dealing with someone who drives your paycheck. Most of us would definitely choose the former unless the water level rises well above the neckline. Marvan's case was no different, but sadly the controversial last few months of his career might and definitely will overshadow his earlier achievements. He could have chosen a different and much milder path to hit back at the selectors, but instead he tagged them as "muppets and jokers". All this coming from a cricket hero that has never been involved in any controversies or heated situations on or off the field is a testament to the intensity of the hidden and deep-seated problems in the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. The way I see it, Marvan had the last laugh and called quits by leaving the SLC Board much poorer without him.

  • Imthiyaz_Haniffa on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    The best opener, a great captain and reliable entertainer. It's a great lost for Sri Lankan Cricket. He must be part of SLC in any form of contribution forever. Poltics always discourage the honest and frank talkers. I admire his talent and technically correct batting. Our gratitude and salutes goes to him and he will remembered always. Imthiyaz - Jeddah.

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  • Imthiyaz_Haniffa on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    The best opener, a great captain and reliable entertainer. It's a great lost for Sri Lankan Cricket. He must be part of SLC in any form of contribution forever. Poltics always discourage the honest and frank talkers. I admire his talent and technically correct batting. Our gratitude and salutes goes to him and he will remembered always. Imthiyaz - Jeddah.

  • kenny_israni on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    You always wonder if you are better off being tight-lipped or a frank talker while dealing with someone who drives your paycheck. Most of us would definitely choose the former unless the water level rises well above the neckline. Marvan's case was no different, but sadly the controversial last few months of his career might and definitely will overshadow his earlier achievements. He could have chosen a different and much milder path to hit back at the selectors, but instead he tagged them as "muppets and jokers". All this coming from a cricket hero that has never been involved in any controversies or heated situations on or off the field is a testament to the intensity of the hidden and deep-seated problems in the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. The way I see it, Marvan had the last laugh and called quits by leaving the SLC Board much poorer without him.

  • buyakasha on November 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    What ever the current issues that were on the scene, Attapattu is and was a great Cricketer. I think he would have gone down as one of the greatest in the world if he did continue another year or two more! Good Luck to the old Warrior anyway :)

  • DushanVas on November 21, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    All the Best Marvan, & thank you very much for what you have done to Sri Lankan Cricket. Marvan is absolutely marvelous. His technique on different scripts was quite amazing. He is a pure model, who emerged to the highest point in Iternational Cricket from the grass route. Although he is a good cricketer, his way of habdling other matters related cricket was not up to standards. When he was included in the squad with the influence of the Sports Minister, Marvan had several comments regarding the Selection Committee (Even Prior to that) & Marvan's objective of telling the exact picture of selection procedure was achieved. But the comments he made while on tour in Australia is quite unhealthy. Marvan would have done this after his retirement. It is wrong picture given by a senior chap in the team. As you said Charlie, controversial last year might overshadow his great achievements as a player, and especially as a captain. But still He is great player & SL needs his service in future.

  • Ellis on November 21, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I will always remember Marvan Atapattu as an elegant and graceful batsman of class. He remains one of the few Sri Lankan batsmen to have had the skill and mental toughness to play long innings at the highest level. His final Test career average does not do either his skill, or determination, justice. His retirement is a sad loss to cricket followers all over the world, and especially those in Sri Lanka.

  • asanka on November 21, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    thanks Charlie for posting a fine good-bye note on our beloved former captain. the good thing is Marvan departs when everybody needs him to be with Sri Lankan team for another few months. people who did unjustice for him may think twice in their next move. good bye Marvan.

  • shaegoda on November 21, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    I am sad to hear the retirement of Marvan Atapattu, former Sri Lanka skipper from international cricket. He was a great servant of Sri Lanka Cricket. His ability and prowess in playing international cricket is unquestaionable. After scoring few ducks in his first two tests,(in fact having pair of spectacles in the debut test) he reached the pinnacle of the batsmanship in tests and one day arena. His statistics speak in volumes about his desire to score runs in international cricket. As a player and captain of Sri Lanka Cricket team, he performed to best of ability to uplift the Sri Lankan Cricket. I wish him success in his future endevours.

  • Mammon_ss on November 21, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    Marvan was one of the Greatest players produced by Mother Lanka after Roy Diaz,Aravinda De Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya.And keeping him out of the world Cup was a insult to the him and the knowlagable Cricket loving Public.He was good enough player to represent World Cup when their ere players (Arnold)just hang there without performing, He has been insulted by a joker who think he is bigger than Cricket

  • sameecool on November 21, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Marvan Atapattu Is a One Of The Finest Cricketers in Srilankan Cricket, There Are Lot More Cricket he Can Still Play For Country,But Unfortunatly SLBC Selectors Have Been Done Some Bad Politics On Him

  • shibudohablue on November 21, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    yes, marvan atapattu is one of the best opener in this modern cricket. he made srilankan cricket in to a new height. looking at his record there is very few openers who proved themself as a real fighter.had he kept his mouth shut he would have played many more years for srilanka. but politics in srilankan cricket caused curtain for his fabulase carrier. i feel sad for him and also the cricket lovers of the world will miss him. all the best marvan. i also feel that you can make a dramatic come back if all of the srilankan cricket administration is dumped by the government and you will be a great captain again. good luck. shibu mathew.