ICC World Twenty20

Player dispute mars SL's party

2014-04-08 16:26
Lasith Malinga (AFP)

Colombo - Sri Lanka's team flew home in triumph on Tuesday to a huge street party after winning the world Twenty20 tournament, but celebrations were marred by controversy over the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

Tens of thousands of fans lined the street from the main international airport to downtown Colombo, a distance of 35km, causing traffic chaos across the capital as the heroes passed by in a motorcade.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene, both former skippers, told reporters at the airport there were serious disagreements about their retirement from T20 cricket.

Jayawardene said his remarks to a local newspaper, that the tournament may be his final T20 appearance, had been taken as notice of his intention to retire, and based on that he had been criticised by a cricket board official.

"I am disappointed and hurt that an official went public criticising us without first asking us whether we actually made those remarks," he told reporters shortly after landing.

"I agree with what he says," Sangakkara added.

Both said they had been uncertain whether they would play in the World T20 tournament until a few hours before they were due to leave for Bangladesh.

Sources close to the players said they did not finalise their employment contracts with the cricket board until the eve of their departure, following disputes between players and the board over pay and conditions.

There was no immediate comment from the cricket board, but an official had earlier criticised both senior players for allegedly going public about their retirement plans without prior notice to the board.

On the eve of the finals with India, the board announced a million dollar bonus for the team if it could finally shed its reputation for "choking" in major tournaments.

Sri Lanka hosted but lost the last World T20 tournament in 2012, and were defeated in the final of the 2007 and 2011 50-over World Cups.

Sangakkara was in celebratory mood despite grumbles with the board.

"Its going to be a massive day," he tweeted, along with photos of fans who mobbed the airport and the streets to greet him and the rest of the team.

"Rain gods be kind."

The met office had forecast thunder showers in Colombo, but the weather was holding up as the team was driven at a snail's pace to meet President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Fans waved national flags and cheered as the team bus escorted by hundreds of motorcycles and cars passed by. It was the biggest street party since government forces crushed Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.

The victory on Sunday night in Dhaka came 18 years after Sri Lanka's triumph in the 50-over World Cup, which had been followed by a series of defeats in the finals of major tournaments.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Amla heaps praise on Tahir

2014-07-23 15:10

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.