Sri Lanka news March 18, 2014

'I feel very let down' - Jayasuriya


Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has expressed deep disappointment at not having been told Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene's plans before the players announced their Twenty20 international retirements to media. Sangakkara had told Sunday Island he would quit T20 internationals in a one-on-one interview just before departing for the World T20, while Jayawardene announced his retirement via the ICC's Twitter Mirror campaign, after the team touched down in Bangladesh.

"I feel very let down by them," Jayasuriya said. "I've been very transparent with them. If they're even resting, I've been calling them and telling them what's going on. I never ever dealt controversially with any senior player."

Jayasuriya suggested he was particularly irked at learning the news second-hand, because he had respected the value Sangakkara and Jayawardene had added to the team. This, despite fears he would seek to omit the pair in retaliation for their supposedly having hastened his own retirement.

"When I became a selector there were a lot of stories and comments in the media, that we were going to do this and that, but we didn't do anything of that sort," he said. "I've always handled the seniors in a different way. Whatever respect should be given to that senior player has been given, as a selection panel."

Jayasuriya had been more scathing in comments made to the Daily Mirror, labeling Sangakkara and Jayawardene's actions "highly unethical". "They should have had the common decency to inform the selectors who could then prepare Sri Lanka for the next phase," he said. "Traditionally any international player takes an important decision such as retirement after consulting the selectors first. This shows they are ungrateful for what they got through playing for the country."

The players had been locked in a tense standoff with SLC over player pay in the week prior to their departure for the tournament, but Jayasuriya had largely been sympathetic to the players' concerns during the saga. "Whatever issue they had with Sri Lanka Cricket - that's a different story," Jayasuriya told ESPNcricinfo, "and I don't want to bring that into it. But as a selection committee, they have never had any problems with us. If they wanted to do anything, they should have consulted us.

"They might say that they would have told me. But the players are always dealing by writing letters to the board and anyone else, but they have not given me a letter. I can't remember at all them mentioning anything like that."

Jayawardene spoke out via Twitter on Tuesday evening, ostensibly responding to the Daily Mirror story with: "I'm really sad & disappointed to hear what's been in the papers back home. Why do people go out of their way to make things harder for us??"

Neither Sangakkara nor Jayawardene had given specific details of their T20 retirements before Sunday, but both had publically suggested they would wind down their international careers over the next 18 months. Although Sri Lanka's approach to the tournament has been characterised by off-field strife, the team achieved a polished victory over India in their first warm-up match on Monday.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Milroy on March 25, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    Many things are happening behind the back of Sanga and Mahela...why the hell they have to inform the selectors about their decision????

  • Akila on March 23, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Well it's really sad to hear all this stories from Sri Lankan cricket, we lions are named for spiritual team and the team work was to its maximum, despites the problems they have with the Cricket board you are playing for the country for god sake...... and the country who cries to death when they lose major tournaments and yet again welcomed to the country on the red carpet by millions of people. I think we have loose the reputation we used to carry out sins 1996 world cup. I don't know what's happening inside the selection camp, but believe me folks Jayasuriya selects some good young guns where we can watch a match till end with full confidence of winning chances.

  • Mahesh on March 22, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    @DreamCricketer: Jayasuriya was the one who brought politics to team. After announcing his retirement from test cricket he started playing test cricket again with the help of president. Sometimes he got selected to the team with the help of sport minister. When he was out of form & also 40+ years old still he creeped in to the team with the help of his political powers that cost Sri Lanka T20 world cup in 2010. He also went to England to have a grand farewell being a parliament member when he was 42. There are very few good innings he has played in big occasions but most of the times he let team down by just throwing his wicket away by playing very irresponsible shots when team was already down. He was appointed as chief selector because he's a politician & a MP of government. Out of 6 matches SL played in 1996 world cup Aravinda won man of the match award in 4 matches including final & semi final.Aravinda was the most deserved one to win man of the series award as well in 1996 world

  • Prabath on March 21, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    DreamCricketer: I think it's good time for Jayasooriya now to focus on a new team with the captaincy of Angelo for the WC. So that we will not have last moment surprises with the 3 seniors. They should retire from all formats of cricket now. If they are in the team they will create team politics and it will not good fro the spirit of the team. Keep up the good work Jayasooriya.

  • Dummy on March 21, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    Suthacompaq, there are no 20 months for 2015 World Cup. It starts in Feb 2015 making it less than 12 months

  • Terrance on March 21, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    Well guys Sanath the Cricketer will always have a place in our history. a rare talent that took the world cricket apart. But here he is as Sanath the selector. So far he is doing a good job by the flow of youngsters that are getting an opportunity. He just made a smart move here. He has to make few moves after the 2015 world cup in the one day team and slowly in the test team. He is just showing everyone that T20 retirement was done without discussing with him by these 2 great cricketers and he was taken by surprise. So when he makes his selection moves after the 2015 world cup in the one day team or test team ,he should not be blames as he wont be waiting for Mahela , Sanga or Dilshan to discuss the retirement plans with him and plan his teams.. Selectors should start focusing and gradually bringing in Kithruvan, Angelo Perera, in form Jehan Mubarak (another opportunity) ,Priyanjan in the middle.. I just hope we can build a good squad for 2015 world cup. we have 20 months for that.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    Sanath may be right in getting blown up over the issue, but equally neither Sanga or Mahela are wrong. They are independent people and have every right to decide when to retire. Sanath should on the other hand have planned for such an event given both players are over 36 and not known to sit on the future of new blokes. So do not get worked up and instead plan for future. Just because you did not like their decision, do not do some crazy thing as that can have a big impact on team morale. The two players are highly respected by other players and Sri Lankans all alike.

  • Ruwan on March 21, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    has jayasooriya given right notices when he retire. even at 40 + he tried to peep into team and that chased out chances of upul tharanga n some new comers a lot.mahela n sanga has done a lot to sri lanka cricket more than any one.technically there should be a way that a team player announce a retirement but it should be more concern on tests as it is difficult to pick good players for tests and make them grow. but for limited overs and T20s we can pick a 11 at any day who are in form and that is the winning combination mostly .need sanga n mahela to be thee for more 20 -30 tests in 3 -4 more years and pretty sure they can contribute more than any . cheers,

  • Serath on March 20, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    Sanath should not be a selector, he hasn't got the right qualities, like honesty, humility, and acceptance of reality.

  • Rakitha on March 20, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    @lionspaw: Pls don't publish false info. In 2003 WC semi final Sanga took 3 catches and 1 stumping that helped SL to restrict Australia for just 212. Sanga was also top scorer 39* in SL inning where he didn't get any support from any other batsman since SL lost 7 wickets for just 76 runs. That's why SL lost. Vaas played for 2007 WC final but Gilchrist hammered him all over the park to score 281 runs in 38 overs. It was not Mahela but Asantha De Mel who dropped Atapattu but it didn't matter SL reached finals in 2007 with help of Tharanga's 73 runs in semi final who played for Atapattu's place. In 2011 WC semi final Mathews got injured so he was replaced by Thisara.Chamara Silva who got struggled to bat in semi finals was replaced by Kapugedara in finals. Kulasekara bowled brilliantly in preliminary match SL played at Wankhede(venue of final) replaced Herath in finals. Ajantha Mendis who had been discovered by Indians was replaced by Randiv who was the most economical bowler in finals.

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