ICL links: Atapattu released from SL contract

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/marwanatapattu_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Sri Lanka's cricket officials on Monday released former captain Marvan Atapattu from his national contract.

Updated: August 09, 2007 10:58 IST
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Sri Lanka's cricket officials on Monday released former captain Marvan Atapattu from his national contract amid speculation the batsman may join a controversial league in India.

Atapattu, who is currently in England playing for Lashings World XI, had written to Sri Lanka Cricket requesting release from his contract with the board.

"We are releasing him from the contract from October 1," cricket secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan said, adding this will not make Atapattu ineligible for future national selection.

Atapattu has been linked by Sri Lankan media to the Indian Cricket League, a league promoted by an Indian television company involving some high-profile former national cricketers, such as Kapil Dev

ICL is organizing a Twenty-20 event said to feature top international stars and Indian youngsters, including former West Indies batsman Brian Lara.

However the sport's governing body, Board of Control for Cricket in India, has not recognized the league and warned that any young player aligning with it will be banned from the national team for life.

Sri Lanka's cricket board, however, has not taken a stand on ICL and will follow International Cricket Council's ruling expected in October, Mathivanan said.

Atapattu, 36, has been mostly out of the national team since suffering a back injury in March 2006.

This lost the right-handed batsman not only his captaincy to Mahela Jayawardene but also a regular spot in the team.

Atapattu was selected to play in the World Cup in March this year but did not get to play a single match.

He later pulled out of last month's test series against Bangladesh and instead chose to play for the English club.

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