Barely few hours ahead of their scheduled departure for the England tour, Sri Lanka players Monday lost a hard fought match against their own Cricket Board at Taj Samudra.
Here is how Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) managed to convinced players to not disrupt England tour at least:
*SLC bigwigs – president Shammi Silva, vice president Ravin Wickramaratne (domestic cricket), Jayantha Dharmadasa (VP, International Cricket) CEO Ashley De Silva reached at Taj Samudra (where players were staying in bio secure bubble), explained to players and requested them to sign the declaration at least, if not the annual contract or tour contract. The players were given little time to decide.
*After a while, players came back and refused. Then the players were told that those, who are not ready to go to England tour, will be suspended pending inquiry and a 3 year ban will be imposed banning them from all forms of cricket.
*Players still grumbled and requested ranking formula explained in writing. The SLC ExCo refused it, saying nothing will be given in writing, but will discuss upon their arrival from England.
*Then, around 3 PM, as it was widely expected and predicted, country’s Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa tweeted and hoped for a amicable settlement.
“Disappointed that players & SLC haven’t succeeded in reaching consensus on new player contracts. Motivating our players through competitive compensation is important but should not be the deciding factor to represent country. Players should always put =countrycomesfirst” he tweeted
Within few minutes, players agreed to sign the declaration!
“Players took one step back and agreed to sign England tour declaration. The annual contract issue to be negotiated after the England tour” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.
The players expected to be selected had refused to sign the tour contracts offered by Sri Lankan Cricket. In last few hours, 14 more players have joined the protest, which is not aimed for the money, but for the transparency! The players are demanding a revision of the overall scoring and ranking system which sees points being allocated on five attributes–performance, fitness, leadership, professionalism, and future potential and adaptability.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to tour England this month for three one-day internationals and three T20I matches.