A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ongoing SLC situation is the least of my problems, says Mahela Jayawardene

Jayawardene is unconcerned about SLC’s investigation into his comments

Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene has defended his actions of sending a letter to the Daily Mirror after the UK-based newspaper published a story detailing Jayawardene’s ongoing dispute with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) over sharing the guarantee fee the country received for hosting the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 in September.

Jayawardene wanted the fee to be shared with theĀ support staff, groundstaff and pitch curators since they had worked “closely and tirelessly with the team” during the course of the tournament.

However, Jayawardene vowed not to be distracted by SLC’s announcement to investigate the comments he made in the letter to the paper.

“It’s not really a distraction,” Jayawardene said. “It’s not the first time something like this has happened and I’ve just taken it on board. I honestly don’t know what I’ve done in this scenario. The document was released by them, and I just asked the question, “How did that happen?” I think hopefully we can get that resolved pretty soon once they realise I haven’t done anything wrong.

“Right now my focus is on this tour and to try and give my best for the team. I don’t think most of the guys even know what’s going on.”

Despite being whitewashed 3-0 by Australia in their Test series, Jayawardene noted that opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne would go on to become a superstar in the future, especially after his 85 in the second innings of the final Test in Sydney.

“When we made the call on Dimuth, we wanted to make it a long-term decision,” Jayawardene said. “Whatever happens, he will at least get a good year in that slot. I think he’s shown a lot of promise as a Test opener. I think everyone’s very pleased with the way he’s been batting. It was unfortunate he got some good deliveries in the last Test. The way he bats gives us more opportunities. If he gets going, he’s a very aggressive batsman and he’ll score quickly for us. That will win Test matches, not just here, but in Sri Lankan conditions as well. That’s something we are looking for him to do. He’ll definitely get a longer run in the team.”

Jayawardene was also confident that the Australian crowd would not have any feelings of animosity towards them after the Sri Lankans accused Australia pace bowler Peter Siddle of ball tampering during the first Test in Hobart.

Sri Lanka made their complaint to the match referee after watching some footage which allegedly showed evidence of Siddle tampering with the ball, but after a thorough investigation, the ICC cleared Siddle of any wrongdoing.

“I think we’ve been through a lot of hostile things in the past,” Jayawardene added. “1995 was one thing, and even after that. I don’t think it will faze our guys at all. If anything that might give us a little extra. What you have to remember is that there will be a good, partisan Sri Lankan crowd in Melbourne as well, so it might go against them (Australia) as well. A lot of the younger guys probably won’t even understand what the crowd is going to tell them. It’s not going to be a big issue.”

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