All is clearly not well with Sri Lanka Cricket. While they have been struggling with their on-field performances, there have also been several issues among the board and players. And now the apparent brawl between cricketers Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne and the board regarding the players' annual contract is gradually turning into a blame game. With the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan also naming Matthews and Karunaratne responsible for contract turmoil going on in the island country, the two cricketers have written a personal letter to the former off-spinner.
Notably, Sri Lanka and India have to go head to head in the first ODI of the three-match series later on Sunday. To add to their recent form concerns, the hosts will be without some of their key players. While Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella have already been handed a suspension due to a bio-bubble breach in England, the recent contract issue have also sidelines Matthews and Karunaratne from the team. Moreover, even Kusal Perera sustained an injury ahead of the series and the hosts are set to field a side full of fresh faces.
It is unfair that you state that the issue in the contracts was purely money: Mathews and Karunaratne's letter to Murali
At the backdrop of the contract issue, Muralitharan, in an interview with Hiru TV, named Mathews and Karunaratne as the prime reason behind the entire row. He added that the same disrupted their preparations and reflected on the poor results. And now the duo, responding to the same allegations, has written a letter to the technical committee member Muralitharan.
"It is unfair and untrue that you state that the issue in the contracts was purely money," the letter read. "We feel that you were not properly informed of the correct sequence of events, or was possibly given wrong information. Possibly by parties who wish to create a rift between the players and the administration and create disharmony," it added.
In a lengthy letter explaining the entire sequence of events, they also allege that the former spinner, who also shared the dressing room with them, addressed the team and the players in a derogatory manner. They even termed his behaviour as "unprofessional." At a time, when their national team is not particularly doing good, such a rift does not hint at good signs for Sri Lanka Cricket.