Sri Lanka selector ignores ‘joker’ remark

Nov 11, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s chief selector Asantha de Mel on Sunday declined to comment after being called a “joker” by senior batsman Marvan Atapattu during the ongoing opening Test in Australia.

“I do not want to comment and I want to ignore his comments. All that I am keen as the chief selector is to see Sri Lankan batsmen save the Test,” de Mel told AFP.

Sri Lanka are struggling to salvage a draw in the first Test in Brisbane after seeing Australia declare on 551-4 and then getting all out for 211 in their first innings.

The 36-year-old opening batsman on Saturday blamed the selectors for the team’s current woes.

“Sri Lanka cricket at this moment of time is not going in the direction it should be going, especially with a set of muppets headed by a joker,” Atapattu was quoted as saying on the cricinfo website.

“I don’t give credit to the way they have handled selections. If they had handled selections properly we should have a good back-up team.

“For some reasons we don’t, and at the age of 37-38 people have to come and play for Sri Lanka when it comes to tough tours like this.

If selectors are there only for going on tours and getting perks it is a waste of t