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Andrew Fidel Fernando
March 25, 2014
Sri Lanka's selectors have reconciled with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, after their displeasure at not being informed of the senior players' Twenty20 retirement plans had played out in public. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said he had spoken to both players at length and eased the tension.
"I had a very good chat with Sanga and Mahela. There was a small miscommunication from their part also, but nothing like that will happen again," Jayasuriya said. "They have never had any problems with the selection committee, and they had always wanted to be in touch with me. But after this we had a very good talk."
Both Jayasuriya and fellow-selector Pramodya Wickaramasinghe had publically expressed dismay at learning of the retirements through media. Sangakkara had told a local paper "I won't be playing T20 internationals after [World T20]," in the days before the team departed for the tournament, before Jayawardene announced his retirement through the ICC's Twitter Mirror campaign, around 24 hours after the team touched down in Bangladesh.
"Sanga said he didn't mean to officially announce his retirement, and he only said it was his last tour," Jayasuriya said. "So I know what happened, and we understand each other." In the same interview in which Sangakkara had spoken of quitting T20s, he had said he would consult with selectors and the board before finalising the timing of his ODI retirement.
In a response to a local report on Jayasuriya's reaction on learning the news second-hand, Jayawardene had said he had decided to announce his retirement just ahead of the tournament in Bangladesh, and also "in an informal manner as I had always planned". Both players had repeatedly suggested they would wind down their international careers over the next 18 months, with the 2015 World Cup likely the see the last of them in ODIs.
Neither Sangakkara nor Jayawardene have made substantial contributions to Sri Lanka's World T20 campaigns so far, but the team have won both their matches, with a victory over England on Thursday likely to secure a place in the semi-finals.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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