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Jayasuriya was forced to quit: Asantha

The newly appointed SL chief selector revealed that Jayasuirya retired from Tests after being handed an ultimatum to either quit or be sacked.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 16:13 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Sri Lanka's veteran cricketer Sanath Jayasuirya retired from Test cricket last month after being handed an ultimatum to either quit or be sacked, newly-appointed chief selector Asantha de Mel said on Monday.

De Mel, who replaced Lalith Kaluperuma as chairman of the selection committee last week, blamed his predecessor for forcing former captain Jayasuriya out of Test cricket.

"The way it was done was absolutely ridiculous," De Mel, a former Test fast bowler, told AFP.

"Sanath has done so much for the country and the selectors should have shown some respect for such a senior player. But they just called him for a meeting and asked him to step down or face the axe."

Jayasuriya, 36, announced during a home series against Pakistan last month he was leaving Test cricket to concentrate on one-day cricket leading up to the World Cup in the Caribbean in March-April next year.

"If a player wants to retire we allow him to announce his retirement before a series," said De Mel. "But this was done in between a series and I don't think Sanath got the respect he deserves."

Kaluperuma said it was a "collective decision" by the previous committee to persuade Jayasuriya to leave Test cricket.

"We felt that Sanath might not get picked for the ongoing tour of England and told him so," said Kaluperuma. "Coach Tom Moody was involved in the discussion as well.

"We thought the World Cup is vital and Sanath is an important member of the one-day team. We wanted to make sure he remained injury-free for the World Cup so we asked him to concentrate on one-dayers only.

First Published: May 08, 2006 16:13 IST