New Delhi: Aug 30, 2013
After preferring his domestic side Kandurata over Indian Premier League franchisee Sunrisers Hyderabad for the Champions League Twenty20, senior batsman Kumar Sangakkara has lashed out at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials for questioning his loyalty to the country.
Sangakkara said he himself wanted to play for Kandurata after their qualification but his IPL team had initially refused to release him, saying he was an integral part of the side even if his place in the final XI was not certain.
Sangakkara’s comments came after SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga had said that the board would prefer Kandurata’s IPL players played “for their country” in the Champions League.
However, Sangakkara said no SLC official had asked him to play for the Lankan team until a meeting on Tuesday and statements made by them only put him in a bad picture.
“The first time I heard directly that they wanted me to play for Kandurata was on Tuesday – the same day I arrived from the West Indies. I was told that they expected me to play for Kandurata, and I said if that’s the case, and if they are informing me at such a late hour, I’m happy for them to speak to the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise and also the Champions League, to see if that could be done in a respectful and amicable way, and I would await the outcome,” he said.
“At the same time, SLC failed to mediate a workable solution, so I had to make a decision on my own. I decided to stay with Kandurata and absorb the considerable financial loss.”
“I was quite upset that there were statements released by individuals in an official capacity, where my loyalty to the country was brought into question,” Sangakkara told ESPNcricinfo.