Atapattu rejects selector~~s criticism

Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Faisalabad:Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu has brushed aside complaints by chief selector Asantha de Mel that the team management is hindering the development of young players.

"Knowing De Mel it is difficult for me to believe that he could have made such frivolous statements because I am fully aware ... that all efforts should be directed to team development," said Atapattu in a statement on Tuesday.

De Mel, a former pace bowler who was appointed head of selectors this year, last week accused the team management of holding back the development of young players and labelled the senior players as selfish.

"It has come to a stage that the selection committee felt that we have to reduce some of the options in order to get the team management to play the young players," De Mel said.

The chief selector said inexperienced players must be given opportunities against lesser teams or else the development of the team would suffer.

Atapattu, who admitted the bitter comments spurred his side to a crushing 119-run win over Pakistan in the tri-series final in Lahore on Saturday, said team success is premium.

'Team development should go hand in hand with success, as otherwise no purpose will be served," said the Sri Lankan captain.

"My job as captain of the team is to do my best with the team given by the selectors and it's my mission to relentlessly endeavour to see the Sri Lankan team reach the top in both forms of the game," he said.

De Mel was particularly critical of management for not giving youngster Thilina Kandamby a chance against Zimbabwe in the tri-series.

"I feel we have been going in the right direction and this bodes well for the future," said Atapattu.

Sri Lanka meet Pakistan in the first of two Tests starting at Iqbal stadium here from Wednesday.

They play the second Test in Karachi from October 28.

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