Atapattu comeback stalled in refusal to meet selectors

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COLOMBO, Oct 3 (Reuters) Former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu will not make an international comeback in next month's tour of Australia after refusing to meet chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel.

Earlier today de Mel had announced that the selectors wanted Atapattu to play against Australia and that a meeting had been scheduled to discuss his future.

''We'd like him to play in Australia where we feel his skill and huge experience will be vital in Australian conditions,'' de Mel had told Reuters.

Atapattu, however, did not go to the meeting.

''I got an email from the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket inviting me for a discussion at 5 p m,'' Atapattu told Reuters.

''The email said the selectors were going to be there too and I replied saying that I did not want to waste my time with a selection committee headed by Ashantha de Mel,'' he said.

Atapattu, 36, made himself unavailable for Sri Lanka's last test series against Bangladesh in July saying he was still coming to terms with the bitter disappointment of not playing a game in the 2007 World Cup.

He later asked for release from his central contract amid speculation that he would join the rebel Twenty/20 Indian Cricket League.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene, however, urged him to make himself available for the Australia tour and Sri Lanka Cricket's chief executive Duleep Mendis tried to set up a meeting.

After Atapattu failed to show up for the meeting, De Mel said that Sanath Jayasuriya would now be selected.

Earlier de Mel had indicated that the selectors wanted Jayasuriya to focus on limited overs cricket and Atapattu on test cricket.

REUTERS RS KP2233

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