Atapattu likely to get the nod for Bangla Tests

Published: Sunday, June 3, 2007, 23:57 [IST]
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Colombo:Veteran Sri Lanka batsman Marvan Atapattu has received a vote of confidence from the national selectors ahead of the upcoming series against Bangladesh later this month.

The 36-year-old former captain has not played Test cricket for his country since turning out against India in December 2005, despite being on the fringes for most of the last 18 months.

The 88 Test and 268 ODI stalwart was also part of the islanders' World Cup squad but failed to get a game in West Indies.

However, the chairman of selectors Ashantha De Mel has now backed Atapattu for a return, saying his past experience is invaluable to the team ahead of their three-match Test and one-day international series.

"Marvan Atapattu will definitely be considered for the Test and the one day series against Bangladesh," said De Mel.

"I think Marvan is too good a player to be left out considering his experience and ability.

"We will initially look at him for the Tests and, depending on his form, will consider him for the one-day games too.

"True, he was left out of the matches against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, but we have decided to reconsider him," added the chairman of Atapattu's axing from their 2-1 series defeat to their sub-continental rivals last month.

De Mel added that the board may opt to rest another senior player in Sanath Jayasuriya.

"We have also taken a decision to rest some of the seniors for this series," he said. "It is very likely that Sanath Jayasuriya will be rested.

"Sanath is a player of undisputed class and he is in no danger of losing his place. He can afford to rest and come back.

"We will take the opportunity to try our new players who are on the fringe of breaking through as we feel Bangladesh is a side we can afford to experiment against."

De Mel also re-affirmed that experienced trio, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Chaminda Vaas, currently on duty with their respective county teams in England will be available for the home series.

He said: "Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara will definitely be available for the series.

"We have been told of their availability. We want to look at every angle before we decide on the squad. The availability of the trio will give us an excellent balance in the squad for the series."


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