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Atapattu released from SL contract

There are speculations that the former Sri Lankan captain will now join the breakaway Indian Cricket League.

cricket Updated: Aug 07, 2007 16:34 IST

Sri Lanka's cricket officials on Monday released former captain Marvan Atapattu from his national contract amid speculation the batsman may join a controversial league in India.

Atapattu who is currently in England playing for Lashings World XI had written to Sri Lanka Cricket requesting release from his contract with the board.

"We are releasing him from the contract from October1," cricket secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan told the Associated Press, adding this will not make Atapattu ineligible for future national selection.

Atapattu has been linked by Sri Lankan media to the Indian Cricket League, promoted by an Indian television company involving some high-profile former national cricketers, such as Kapil Dev.

ICL is organizing a Twenty-20 event said the feature top international stars and Indian youngsters, including former West Indies batsman Brian Lara.

However the sport's governing body, Board of Control for Cricket in India, has not recognized the league and warned that any young players aligning with it will be banned from the national team for life.

Sri Lanka's cricket board, however, has not taken a stand on ICL and will follow International Cricket Council's ruling expected in October, Mathivanan said.

Atapattu, 36, has been mostly out of the national team since suffering a back injury in march 2006. This lost the right-handed batsman not onlyhis captaincy toMahel Jayawardene but also a regular spot in the team.

Atapattu was selected to play in the World Cup in March this year but did not get to play a single match.