Sri Lanka Cricket Board acused of ‘roasting’ players for cash

May 25, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s senior cricket officials on Friday clashed over this week’s one-day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, with the chief selector dismissing it as “absolutely ridiculous.”

Asantha De Mel said the series was too soon after the World Cup, criticising Sri Lanka Cricket which organised the lucrative one-day matches.

“I have never heard of a cricket match being played in 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) anywhere in the world,” said De Mel.

“It is absolutely ridiculous. The board must look at the comforts of players rather than just going after money, money and more money.”

Sri Lanka Cricket received 750,000 dollars for taking part in the series, which Pakistan won 2-1.

Sri Lanka, who lost last month’s World Cup final to Australia, left for the capital of the United Arab Emirates two weeks after returning home from the Caribbean.

However, Sri Lanka Cricket chief Duleep Mendis said the series was confirmed during the World Cup and De Mel had been made aware of it.

“Would Mr. De Mel have expressed the same sentiments had we won the Abu Dhabi series?” asked Mendis. Sri Lanka were without key players Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Kuma