Sri Lanka newly appointed skipper Kusal Perera is hoping to resolve the ongoing contract tussle between players and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) but he admitted that the issue has ‘affected’ the cricketers.
Sri Lanka cricketers have refused to sign new contracts offered by the apex body as they feel some players have been given unfair deals. On Friday, In an unprecedented move, a total of 24 national Sri Lanka cricketers collectively refused to sign the contracts, while blaming cricket board to put them a gunpoint. The Players are up in arms over the scheme which has forced a significant cut on their annual earnings with some losing as much as US$ 50,000 compared to the previous year.
Players have now been categorized into four groups according to a new points system which gives priority to levels of fitness, discipline, performance in international and domestic cricket during the last two years, leadership and overall value to the team. They are now demanding that the Board discloses the points allotted to each in order to understand the thought process.
Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have been given the most lucrative deals while veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews has been offered a contract worth $80,000 which is $50,000 less than his base salary from last year.
In a 3 page long joint statement, released by their representative Attorney-at-law Nishan Sydney, players have hit back at SLC officials in a big way. The players have vehemently condemned the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) management Committee’s decision to publicly reveal the specific payment details of contract fees paid to specific players.
Nishan Sydney had issued this press release on behalf of following cricketers: Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, KusaI Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Embuldeniya, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Oshada Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Danushka Gunathillaka, Ashen Bandara and Akila Dhananjaya.
Meanwhile, Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s annual fee fell from roughly $100,000 to $70,000.
“We do have concerns about the contracts. We can’t say it’s not affecting us – that would be a lie and everyone would know it’s a lie. But I’m hoping we can talk to the cricket board and resolve this fairly,” Perera was quoted as saying ahead of the first ODI against Bangladesh.
“What I’m trying to do is give the players confidence to go and do what they know how to do because if they are fearful, they won’t get the best out of their skills,” he added.
Earlier, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming limited-overs series against Bangladesh. The SLC has sprung some huge surprise as they have appointed a new captain and a vice-captain for the upcoming ODI series vs Bangladesh. Kusal Perera has been named the Sri Lanka new ODI captain. He will be succeeding s Dimuth Karunaratne who has been dropped from the side after he recently led the Lankans to an ODI series loss in the West Indies.