Moody upbeat despite de Mel attack

LONDON, May 9, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody was in relaxed mood Tuesday despite coming under fire from newly-appointed chief selector Asantha de Mel just days before the first Test against England here at Lord’s. “I’ve lodged nothing,” said Moody, denying reports coming out of Sri Lanka that he’d made an official complaint.

De Mel branded the Australian “more of a strategist” than a coach and said the former international all-rounder had not done enough to help individual players with specific technical problems.

He also told AFP in Colombo on Monday that veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya had been forced to retire although he blamed his predecessor, Lalith Kaluperama for the former Sri Lanka captain’s exit.

And former Australia international Moody, speaking at Lord’s here Tuesday, said: “I’ve heard what you heard and that’s on Ceefax (the BBC teletext service), a quote about the retirement of Sanath Jayasuriya.

“As far as we’re concerned, I had a conversation with the chairman of selectors this morning and it didn’t even come into the conversation.”

However Moody admitted the controversy was not the most helpful way of preparing for a Test match.

“It’s not ideal but it’s certainly somethi