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Atapattu rejects Sri Lanka overtures

Sri Lanka's former captain Marvan Atapattu rejects moves to get him aboard the national team to play in the upcoming tour against Australia.

cricket Updated: Oct 04, 2007 15:20 IST

Sri Lanka's former captain and opening batsman Marvan Atapattu rejected moves to get him aboard the national team to play against Australia, an official said on Thursday.

Chief selector Asantha de Mel had hoped to meet with Atapattu late on Thursday, but the former star player sent a message saying he was not keen to see the officials.

"He sent us a fax saying that he did not want to see us," de Mel told AFP.

De Mel said they will pick the veteran Sanath Jayasuriya in Atapattu's place as the opener. There will be no more attempts to meet with Atapattu, de Mel said.

Earlier in the day, de Mel said Sri Lanka needed Atapattu's experience in Australia in the two-Test tour coming up in November.

An apparently indignant Atapattu, furious over his consistent non-selection for the World Cup games in August, sought release from his contract with effect from October.

The 37-year old opener has effectively ended his Sri Lanka career. He made his debut against India in Chandigarh in 1990 and played the last of his 88 Tests against the same opponents in 2005 at Ahmedabad.