COLOMBO, April 8, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s team flew home in triumph Tuesday to a huge street party after winning the world Twenty20 tournament, but celebrations were marred by controversy over the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Tens of thousands of fans lined the street from the main international airport to downtown Colombo, a distance of 35 kilometres (21 miles), causing traffic chaos across the capital as the heroes passed by in a motorcade.
Sangakkara and Jayawardene, both former skippers, told reporters at the airport there were serious disagreements about their retirement from T20 cricket.
Jayawardene said his remarks to a local newspaper, that the tournament may be his final T20 appearance, had been taken as notice of his intention to retire, and based on that he had been criticised by a cricket board official.
“I am disappointed and hurt that an official went public criticising us without first asking us whether we actually made those remarks,” he told reporters shortly after landing.
“I agree with what he says,” Sangakkara added.
Both said they had been uncertain whether they would play in the World T20 tournament until a few hours before they were due to leave for Bangladesh.