Atapattu calls it quits
Sri Lankan opener Marvan Atapattu announced his retirement from international cricket after the second Test defeat against Australia.
Last Updated: 20/11/07 4:20pm
Sri Lankan opener Marvan Atapattu announced his retirement from international cricket after the second Test defeat against Australia in Hobart.
Atapattu, 36, scored 80 in his final Test innings but could not prevent Australia claiming a 96-run victory to seal a 2-0 series whitewash.
His decision comes just a week after he called the Sri Lankan selection committee 'muppets headed by a joker' following the first Test defeat in Brisbane.
The right-hander had been out of international cricket for almost two years before the intervention of Sri Lanka's sports minister saw him called up for the tour of Australia.
"I write to inform you that I will be retiring from international cricket for Sri Lanka with effect from November 21st 2007," wrote Atapattu in a brief letter to Sri Lanka Cricket.
He played 90 Test matches and 268 one-day internationals during an international career that began in 1990, and included a spell as Sri Lanka's Test captain between May 2004-December 2005.
Atapattu finished his Test career with 5,502 runs at an average of 39.02, including six double-centuries and 16 hundreds.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Duleep Mendis led the tributes to Atapattu, saying: "Marvan had sent me his retirement intention earlier today.
"Personally it was most unexpected as Marvan was such an important part of Sri Lanka Cricket and I definitely felt that he had a few good years still to offer.
"As a player he was simply fantastic and has shown his class with his stroke-play in both forms of the game.
"I do remember Marvan's difficult start but the way he has battled out of difficult times has been very commendable and an example to lots of young cricketers.
"I certainly wish Marvan a happy retirement from cricket."
SLC's interim committee secretary Kangadaran Madivanan added: "Marvan was a great player and is a great loss.
"All good things have to come to end. But it is a pity that Sri Lanka cricket will be without Marvan as he was such a sound player.
"As a batsman he had wonderful technique and stood up to the best bowlers around the world.
"Though he had a bad start he showed his character by fighting back and playing in 90 Test matches for his country in addition the large number of one-day games.
"Marvan will be missed and will always be remembered for his beautiful batsmanship which was a treat to watch. And also as a captain he was a very straight talking and a clear thinking person.
"In conclusion, I want to say that we are thankful to him for the entertainment he provided."