Mahela and SLC spat leads to heated email exchange

22 April 2014 07:38 pm - 33     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Mahela Jayawardene-Kumar Sangakkara T20 International retirement issue which has been reverberating since last month, entered another phase as the media reported yesterday that the SLC Ex-co has decided to refer the matter to its independent disciplinary committee, to consider the possibility of action against the two star cricketers over the statements they made against Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary and Chief Executive at a press conference at the Colombo Airport upon arrival from Bangladesh following the ICC World T20 victory.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara had first spoken of their retirement to the media, and SLC’s chief national selector Sanath Jayasuriya expressed that he was not happy about the fact that the two senior players went to the press before informing SLC.

Jayawardene dropped a bombshell at the press conference at the airport by faulting the SLC officials for talking to the press without consulting them, as he claimed that they did not announce their retirements to the media.

Following the public spat that received massive media attention around the world, Sri Lanka Cricket team manager Michael De Zoysa, Jayawardene and Jayasuriya were involved in a heated exchange of emails about the incident, which we thought would be interesting to the public, especially as the “Daily Mirror” was caught in the middle of the crossfire…

From: Michael De Zoysa    
Sat, Apr 12, 2014
at 12:40 PM
To: Mahela Jayawardena
Cc: Ashley De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya

Dear Mahela,

I have been brooding over your comments at the Airport Press Conference and feel constrained to write to you as your Manager.
I have always been a great fan of yours, as you well know, and as a cricketer deservedly so. I also considered you a Gentleman sportsman.

Whatever your feelings about certain people and theirs about you, you had no business to make the unsubstantiated comments you made that day.
It was an occasion to celebrate a great victory and you and Sanga were honored to share the head table with the Captains.

You brought the Event, the Victory, SLC, and yourselves into shame and disrepute by your pettiness. If you are a gentleman you owe an apology to all concerned.
Sent from my iPad

From: Mahela Jayawardena    

Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 2:48 PM
To: Michael De Zoysa
Cc: Ashley De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sanga

Dear Micheal (sic),

It’s with great displeasure and disappointment that I read this email from you.

The remarks I made was to a question that I was asked by the local media and you or the SLC media should have briefed them before it started. In Bangladesh you of all people agreed with me that comments made by CEO / secretary and Sanath was baseless and out of order and that I did not announce my retirement. You were the one who wanted me and Kumar to speak to Sanath and sort it out.

Having spoken to him he was told by SLC secretary that we have announced our retirement. He wanted us to say nothing till the World Cup was over. If at all it’s they who should apologise to me and Kumar and be more PROFESIONAL (sic) in handling things going forward.
It’s sad to see that you telling us one thing in Bangladesh and taking a u-turn after coming back to Sri Lanka.
Sent from my iPhone

From: Sanath Jayasuriya      

Date: 2014, April 12 8:17:37 pm GMT+5:30

Dear Mahela,

I have taken the liberty to respond to the email copied to me, as I have been unnecessarily implicated in what seems to be some other issue. The comment you have made about what I said was “baseless”, does not hold water as when like you I was asked by the media if I had been informed of your retirement. I honestly answered that. I was surprised as you had not intimated any such thing either to me or to the board which was the truth, prior to what you had spoken either as a response to a question posed by the press or what you wanted to communicate to the press.

As far as speaking to Kumar and yourself and in fact any member of the team you will know that my intentions have always been above board in trying to sort out whatever issues the team has faced.

Therefore I am somewhat taken aback that you would say my comments are “baseless” when actually they were factual as you had not informed me of your decision prior to announcing it in the press whatever the reasons my role as Chairman selectors remains is to work towards the best interest of the team and its welfare ,therefore I suggest l am not implicated in a negative light to suit various purposes which have nothing to do with me.
Sent From my iPhone

From: Michael De Zoysa    

Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 3:15 PM
To: Mahela Jayawardena
Cc: Ashley De Siva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sanga

Dear Mahela,

I never said anyone’s comments were baseless! What I said was you cannot assume what the paper says is said by them. The paper only quoted Sanath and Ashley actually defended you if you read the article properly. Furthermore to avoid any controversy I banned you and Sanga from speaking to the press until the tour was over so that all could concentrate on the cricket at hand.

In fact at the very first press conference thereafter I announced twice to the press that no questions on retirement would be entertained. For this the same writer said I was rude to the press and not acting as an ambassador! So much for the accuracy of his writing!
Can you please tell me how I can brief the press when we all got off a plane together!

Yes I did want you to speak to Sanath and sort it out and whilst I am not privy to that conversation I assumed you had done so and sorted it out. If that was the case, you have handled press conferences for years, you should have known better how to handle any question on our return.

You should be disappointed with yourself, you let yourself down, and it is you who have to apologise for unsubstantiated accusations.

I don’t take U turns, many times I told you to leave the matter alone! Enough said if you have a conscience let it prick you,
Sent from my iPad

From: Sanath Jayasuriya

Dear Mahela

I am actually very disappointed at the turn of events in this whole matter.

What you cannot change is the fact that you took away what should have been a Glorious moment for the World Cup winning team by your actions at the post win press conference. Also bear in mind it was you who said it was to be your last T20 which to me means the same thing as your retirement. In which case it is quite high handed of you to assume that anyone else other than you had to keep the establishment and Selectors informed of your decision or sort any matters out. How you seem to be blaming everyone around when you yourself decided to make such a statement is beyond me. Furthermore to expect that if anything was to be sorted out it was anyone else’s duty to do so is quite absurd. It is your duty to go through the proper channels when making such serious decisions that will affect the team. You are too much of a professional not to have realised that.

Therefore you should be taking responsibility for your actions and words and as I said at the beginning this will go down in the history books as an incident that marred the T20 post win press conference for the team which you should take responsibility for.
Sent from my iPhone

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  Comments - 33

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  • Farill Farook Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:41 AM

    well done mahela!

    badre Wednesday, 23 April 2014 09:22 AM

    damn shame leave them alone

    Sriyan Perera Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:58 AM

    When Namal Rajapaksa announced his retirement in a tweet saying "@RajapaksaNamal Training with the SL 15s squad for Asia 5 nations rugby tournament. My last tournament wearing the national jersey" nobody questioned it or utter a word but why different treatments for Mahela and Sanga.....

    Jayantha Wednesday, 23 April 2014 05:38 AM

    SLC keeping our cricketers at ransom. How could they loose 3.5 Billion rupees and still don't pay cricketers salaries. So funy.
    Also during the last world T20 until 9.00 pm, Cricketers were not sure if they were going or not, due to not signing contracts when the boarding time was 1.00 AM. This shows how rude SLC is. SLC plans to ruin our last world sport. Let SLC go and play "Chuck Gudu" in Hambanthota.

    Sarathsk Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:58 AM

    I fully agree with you.

    Arjuna Wednesday, 23 April 2014 05:38 AM

    From when did Hon. Sanath Jayasuriya start using perfect English?
    Very unpatriotic!!!

    Rohan Gavasker Wednesday, 23 April 2014 05:46 AM

    Good question

    nuwan Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:04 AM

    that is how most successful business works.

    JPNRC Wednesday, 23 April 2014 03:39 AM

    don't we know the quality of these fellows; leave the two cricketing greats alone! The country owes them - you nit wits!

    cibba Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:57 PM

    mandalay kachal.

    jayasingha Wednesday, 23 April 2014 03:47 AM

    I fully agree with Sanath and Micheal and endorse their actions as they are mature and knowledgeable men. Mahela could have easily avoided answering the question about retirement at the Press conference in Bangladesh as he was well aware of the rules.Whatever their performances in cricket Mahela's and Kumar's performance at the press conference was not cricket. This was a happy occasion and they spoilt it and disappointed the cricket lovers in the country. Press is also to be blamed as they goaded these two to sling mud at the SLC for news value.

    ind Wednesday, 23 April 2014 03:53 AM

    all are using ipads and I phones.
    This is send from my friend's ipad !!!

    BBS Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:13 AM

    Ess-squeeze me, can I pleese have email of Mahela aiyya and Sanath aiyya? I wont to send smoll letter to them.

    Olso if you can send Sanga aiya email address olso will be very good.

    Ravi Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:17 AM

    The only thing that brings positive attention to SL is cricket and the cricketers. No wonder the world treats us.

    Raja Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:21 AM

    Mahela, Sanga and others have stood the test of time as gentlemen cricketers. Jayasuriya too was good up to the time he became a politician. Since then his ego is expanding. Never heard of this De Zoysa guy, but if I were to judge him from his emails, he seems to be a bit of a street fighter, writing very provocative emails. The best response Mahela and others could give to these officials, is to ignore their emails and tell whatever has to be told at the threatened investigation. In the meantime, all cricketers should think of the country and do their best, and ignore the officials and the Minister, all of whom have been very painful on the cricketing world. However, I must add that this is not something unique to Sri Lanka only, it is happening in all the cricket playing nations every now and then. So everybody cool down and lets move on with cricket.

    sanju Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:22 AM

    Long live Sanga and Mahela !

    iam Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:24 AM

    All Apple fans i see :D doesn't any of them have PC's :D Anyway I am agreeing with Sanath here.

    Jagath Leanage Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:29 AM

    We never thought Mr.Michael de Soyza will act in that manner as, before this e-mail issue, we treated him as a gentleman. In Sinhala there is a nice saying. That is " BALLOTH EKKA NIDA GATHTHOTH NAGITINNA WENNE MAKKOTH EKKA". (If one sleep with dogs, when get up, that person will have Flees on his body.)

    shan Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:33 AM

    Mahela and Sanga always stood for what is TRUTH, Others in these conversation, we know where they come from. The best judges are the Cricket Fans.

    praba Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:39 AM

    I thought e mails are personnel. Now I understand they are open to public through media.

    Cobra Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:45 AM

    Same story all over again. Remember Mahanama, Gurusingha, Hashan, Marvan, Vaas and even Arjuna. The SLC uses our cricketing greats like limes- squeeze every drop out of them and then unceremoniously throw them away-thank you.

    Dilshan313 Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:46 AM

    Everyone on apple device :o

    Jagath Leanage Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:54 AM

    Our Cricket Board is place where ''ruining the cricket'' in Sri Lanka.

    Sriyan Perera Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:20 AM

    We should not forget that we won the T20 WC just because of Mahela and Sanga's retirement, India gave up the match to give honorable farewell to two great cricketers, yes the way Mahela handled the issue is bit immature, but you should know that the players are going through a hell with the present contractual and other crisis with the board. Board is also should understand the feelings of players....

    lkboy Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:21 AM

    I don't think these emails are authentic. They seem like written by one person.

    Madhura Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:23 AM

    Completely disagree with this comment.
    Mahela & Sanga did not disappoint us the cricket lovers.
    In fact we are glad that there are still few people left in this country with a backbone to speak up.

    grumpy Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:24 AM

    Who is Santh's English translater... that buddy had done a good job.. lol

    katie Mackintosh Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:25 AM

    The bottom line is - NO BONUS PAYMENT FOR MAHELA AND SANGA - Cricket Board to Benefit and share the bonus

    shan Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:00 AM

    [quote name="Arjuna"]From when did Hon. Sanath Jayasuriya start using perfect English?
    Very unpatriotic!!![/quote]
    It is quite apparent a tutor may have corrected his email.

    Fair N Square Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:30 AM

    Freedom of speech is a BASIC human right.. the Manager cannot stop a player from doing so EVEN with a ban.. I am awed that Sanath could write proper English via an email or wonder he has a speech writer doing it for him... BTW Mahela and Sanga has brought enough n more laurels to the country via their gentlemanly cricket. THEY are NOT people who could be pushed around and stepped on... sadly the Management has met their waterloo...SLC management NEED to GO for cricket to prosper in SL... I sincerely hope Mahela N Sango would NOT apologize for something that was not helping to boost the EGO of the managers at slc... BTW Richard and Sanath are trying to take away the honor that was rightly awarded to Mahela n Sanga on their exit from the world stage of T 20 cricket.. Mahela N sanga has done their part to the country They need to quit from ALL levels of the game, or they would be cornered by the SLC officials at future events and selection...

    ruwankm Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:33 AM

    it s only an Apple device that everyone agrees with.

    Izmy Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:09 AM

    Are there any independent commitees in this country?

    Dimuthu Heendeniya Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:30 AM


    Dannavada monavada oya liume liyala thiyenne kiyala??

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