Sri Lanka-Abu Dhabi cricket tour row hots up

May 27, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan cricket’s governing body hit back at the national team’s chief selector Sunday, after his dismissal of last week’s one-day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi as “absolutely ridiculous.” An official at Sri Lanka Cricket said they had sent two letters to Asantha de Mel, the chairman of selectors, expressing unhappiness over the way he has handled the team.

De Mel had pinned blamed on the governing body for hurriedly arranging the tour to sweltering Abu Dhabi so soon after a gruelling World Cup campaign in the West Indies.

“It is absolutely ridiculous. The board must look at the comforts of players rather than just going after money, money and more money,” de Mel had said earlier in the week.
Sri Lanka lost the series 2-1 but received 750,000 dollars for taking part.

The governing body accused de Mel of allowing star players Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Kumar Sangakkara to travel to England to play county cricket prior to the tournament in Abu Dhabi.

“We needed them to play in Abu Dhabi and then go to England, but de Mel had given them permission to skip Abu Dhabi,” said an official from the body who requested anonymity.

“If player fatigue was one of de