Over a dozen of former players are set to meet Sports Minister Harin Fernando in next few days after being discarded from the annual contract list by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC), Cricket Age reliably learns.
The SLC has, till now, allotted contracts to national players, although in that too, has mysteriously ignored future prospects like Kamindu Mendis and Pathum Nissanka.
Cricket Age had published on September 16 itself, how SLC is neglecting aged former players, who are not in the scheme of things for the national team recall Now, but are still playing first class cricket.
Last year, around 100 players were given contracts by the SLC, including senior domestic players also. The logic behind that good decision was that the younger players would get much needed experience and guidance by playing with the seniors.
However, this year, SLC top administrators are not too keen to include domestic seniors into central contract list.
According to sources SLC is holding back yearly contracts of seniors like Charith Buddhika, Thilana Thushara, Dhammika Prasad, Chamara Kapugedera, Upul Tharanga,
Dinuk Hettiarachchi, Chamara Silva, Hasantha Fernando, Chamara Kapugedera and Tharanga Paranavithana.
All the players have played for Sri Lanka and have still been considered more than useful in domestic cricket circuit. Particularly Sachith Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Kaushal Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva and Thilana Thusara were the architect of many famous Sri Lanka wins in their time. Paranavithana, meanwhile, was a solid, typical test opener for Sri Lanka for many years and played some memorable knocks at the top of the order.
Even though these players are not in the scheme of things for national team, still they offers valuable experience and younger domestic players can benefitted immensely by their love and passion for the game that they are still playing first class cricket without looking at international opportunities.
However, with the latest development, it seems that the SLC has some other plans!
Cricket Age understands that these senior players have also raised question against their possible omission and have informed SLC President Shammi Silva as well.
However, as it has always been a case with Shammi Silva that he pays absolute no attention to cricket related matters, now the senior players are planning to meet Sports Minister Harin Fernando to express their disappointment over exclusion.
However, going to Harin Fernando is also seems useless, as the so called Messiah of Sri Lanka Cricket at the moment, Harin listen only his Aiyaa’s interests!
More worryingly, the unethical move from the SLC has already forced several players to look after other options.
“Sri Lanka Cricket is in hopeless position right now, as no one is there to look after player’s interest. Players like Thilina Thushara and Kaushal Silva have already left to Australia to play league cricket there. Likewise other players too will leave premier club cricket here and go to Australia” an insider of Sri Lanka Cricket told Cricket Age.
Interestingly, in India, recently elected BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, right after taking reins, has immediately announced that looking after domestic players interest is his first and foremost priority.
In Sri Lanka, however, Sri Lanka Cricket is in the pocket of people’s like Shammi Silva, whose only priority, and interest, is to oblige all those SLC stakeholders who voted for him in the presidential election, apart from looking after Punchi Borella and non cricketing fundings.