Former captain faces an uncertain future August 6, 2007

Atapattu released from central contract

Cricinfo staff

The future is not bright for Marvan Atapattu © AFP

Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lanka captain, has been released from his central contract with Sri Lanka cricket (SLC), as per his earlier request.

"We decided at this evening's committee meeting to release Marvan Atapattu from his contract from October 1," Kangadaran Mathivanan, board secretary told AFP.

Though not official, the decision is likely to mean the end of the road for Atapattu as an international cricketer. Atapattu made his debut in 1990 and was one of the more elegant opening batsmen in contemporary cricket, scoring 5,330 runs in 88 Tests and 8,529 runs in ODIs.

Earlier, Atapattu had asked to be released from his contract, without citing any specific reason. "We received a letter on Friday addressed to Duleep Mendis requesting release from his contract," Mathivanan told Cricinfo.

Atapattu's current contract was supposed to run until March 2008 and he was one of only six players with 'A' graded contracts. He is currently playing for the Lashings XI in England.

The development caps an uncertain period for Atapattu, during which he was overlooked by the Sri Lankan selectors for the World Cup in the West Indies and the subsequent tour to Abu Dhabi for the one-day series with Pakistan.

Atapattu then announced his unavailability for the home series against Bangladesh citing personal reasons. The speculation is that Atapattu's decision has come about because his name has been linked with the Indian Cricket League (ICL).