Injury-prone paceman Lasith Malinga on Friday stunned Sri Lanka by quitting Test cricket in a bid to prolong his career in one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches.
Chief selector Duleep Mendis hit out at the 27-year-old's handling of the announcement, saying the bowler -- who has pierced eyebrows, dyed blond locks and a distinctive slinging action -- had not informed them of his decision.
The colourful Malinga is on top form for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and recently made himself unavailable for Sri Lanka's Test series in England, attracting criticism that he had chosen club over country.
"In January this year I wrote a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket and released a statement to the media confirming that I planned to reassess my Test future after the World Cup," he said in a statement.
"I decided that I needed to make myself unavailable for Test cricket in an effort to prolong my career as a national cricketer for Sri Lanka.
"Although I am sufficiently fit to play both ODI and T20 cricket, I have a long-standing degenerative condition in my right knee that needs to be carefully managed."
Mendis said the paceman's decision to quit had come as a nasty shock.
"Lasith is an employee of Sri Lanka Cricket. He must have the courtesy to inform or discuss his retirement plans with us first, without releasing statements to the media," Mendis told AFP in Colombo.
Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga added: "We are completely in the dark. Lasith has not informed us, nor intimated his desire to quit Tests."
Known for bowling accurate yorkers, Malinga bagged 101 wickets in 30 Tests since making his debut against Australia in Darwin in 2004.
He took a three-year break from Test cricket until coming back to the format when he featured in a home series against India in 2010. He has three five-wicket hauls to his credit.
"I did try to return to Test cricket after a three-year absence last year following requests from the team management and the selectors, but it left me unfit nursing severe knee pain for two months," Malinga said.
"I have realised that the heavy workload of Test cricket, which requires a fast bowler to be able to bowl more than 15 overs, sometimes on consecutive days, could lead to permanent injury.
"I have carefully considered my options and have decided that not playing Test cricket will help me achieve my goal of representing Sri Lanka in the 2012 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup."
Source: AFP Global Edition