Sanga, Mahela betrayal shocks SLC
Mar 18, 2014

The announcements by stars Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene of their retirement from T20 Internationals did not come out of the blue as it appeared when the news suddenly took the world media by storm on Sunday and Monday.

The fact that “Daily Mirror” was able to report it exclusively and accurately, nearly three weeks ago on February 26 is ample testimony to that.

However, since “Daily Mirror” report did not come from the horse’s mouth, it was not official and when it finally happened, even some of the most unlikely people were shocked. Among them were Chairman of national selectors Sanath Jayasuriya, SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva and SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, officials whom anyone would naturally expect to be privy to such important news regarding the career of a national cricketer.

Somehow, Sangakkara and Jayawardene seemed to have managed to deliver the ultimate insult to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), their employer and their mentor for more than 15 years, by choosing to break their most important career decision ever to media rather than the officials. Both players who have risen over the years to unparalleled heights in world cricket to be ranked among all time greats of the game had been known well for showing their contempt at officials publicly.

In 2011, Sangakkara launched a scathing attack on officials, famously labelling them “partisan cronies” whose appointment he said, “would lead to corruption and wanton waste of cricket board finances and resources.”

Then in December 2012, Jayawardene, in a letter to “Daily Mirror” claimed “I have lost all confidence in dealing with SLC in the future” over a leaked document which he felt contained sensitive information.

So, Jayawardene had kept true to his word by keeping SLC in the dark over his retirement decision and choosing media instead to come out with it.

“We have seen the media reports but we don’t know how accurate they are because we would naturally expect the players to communicate such an important decision to SLC first. So far, they haven’t informed us that they have taken such decisions,” said SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva.

Jayasuriya was equally perplexed. “They never even hinted to us that they were going to retire. This is highly unethical of them. They should have had the common decency to inform the selectors who could then prepare Sri Lanka for the next phase of t he fu tu r e . Traditionally, any international player takes an important decision such as retirement after consulting the selectors first. This shows that they are ungrateful for what they got through playing for the country,” said Jayasuriya.He added that the selfish decision taken by the players without giving a chance for them to plan and cushion the immediate damage through a gradual process of blooding their replacements systematically would mean that Sri Lanka team suffering a damaging setback.

“Had they informed us in advance, we could have been prepared for building the team for the future. Now that they are going, they have shown a devil may care attitude,” claimed Jayasuriya.

Interestingly, Jayawardene did not declare his intentions even to the local media. Even when “Daily Mirror” asked him specifically about his retirement just four days ago, Jayawardene categorically said he had not taken any decisions.

“I ’ll know when the time comes and I’ll make those decisions. I haven’t spoken to the selectors. Just the focus was the world cup. After that I’ll see where I am and what needs to be done,” Jayawardene said.

But within a matter of a few days Jayawardene announced his retirement to an Indian magazine, perhaps a more financially rewarding option.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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