After months of disagreements between players and the boards regarding the new contract system, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has finally announced the list of 18 players who have put pen to paper. The cricket governing council had been very adamant about the cricketers signing the contract with T20 World Cup just a couple of months away from now.
It must be noted that the national player contracts that have been signed came into effect from August 1, 2021. They are 5-month contracts and will end on December 31, 2021. "The players signed the contracts without any deviation from the contracts offered previously, which was formulated by Sri Lanka Cricket along with the Technical Advisory Committee," the board confirmed in an official statement.
Players who have signed the new contract
After the retirement of players like Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana, there were speculations that many senior players are against signing the new contracts offered by SLC because of lack of transparency. However, the news on Friday brings a major sigh of relief for Sri Lankan cricket fans with big names like Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal agreeing to sign the contracts till the end of 2021.
Angelo Mathews is one of the few notable absentees in the list as the veteran cricketer was not considered after he had made himself unavailable for the selection. As expected, the suspended trio of Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis also miss out. The list of 18 contracted Sri Lankan players is as follows:
|1.||Dhananjaya De Silva|
Sri Lanka get set for South Africa series
With the contract-saga finally done and dusted, Sri Lanka can now focus completely on the upcoming home series against South Africa where the two teams will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is from September 2 to September 14. With no more tour contracts expected to be given, the 18 mentioned players will mostly be the ones to feature in series against the Proteas, followed by the 2021 T20 World Cup.