Sri Lankan cricketers threaten board to retire early after pay cuts

Notably, all-rounder Thisara Perera had also announced his retirement earlier this month following pay dispute with the board.

Rohan GulatyAuthor

Updated - 17 May 2021 05:30 PM


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has made some significant changes in their new contract scheme for the players who have not gone down well, including a few of the senior members. It is being reported that several cricketers have actually threatened to retire prematurely if no clarity is offered to them on the new point system which grades the players and decides their annual contracts. Some players have endured a significant pay cut to their wages which has increased the tension between the players and the board.

Sri Lankan players want transparency in the procedure

As per the new system, players have been categorized in four groups on various parameters like fitness, performance, discipline, leadership and overall value they bring into the team. However, there is no clarity about how the overall points have been allotted to decide the salary category and the players have demanded the information to understand the entire process.

"Each individual player very correctly believes they are entitled to a disclosure on the points allotted which categorized their ranking. Transparency would also create unity and harmony,” Attorney-at-Law Nishan Sydney Premathiratne, the player representative in the SLC contract negotiations told the Sunday Times.

Mr. Premathiratne added that all players are in unison seeking this information as he believes that transparency in the process would help the players to know how they were assessed and what weaknesses they need to address.

SLC unwilling to reveal the details to players

While the players have urged the board to share the information with them, Sri Lanka Cricket have blatantly refused to do the same. "We will not compromise the system in place and are not willing to divulge these vital pieces of information,” stated an SLC official as quoted by Sunday Times.

He also added that the board will no longer offer a contract on seniority or any other personal preferences. As per the official, the contracts will be offered only after evaluating the overall performance of a player based on the new criteria and whoever is willing to sign can do it next week.

While no player was named by the official, it was very evident that he was giving the warning to the few senior players who have suffered a pay cut as per the new contract.

Which players are unhappy with new contracts?

Senior Sri Lankan players like Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne and Suranga Lakmal have been on the receiving end of pay cuts after they were also dropped from limited-overs squad. While Mathews have lost out on as much as US$ 50,000, Karunaratne has also received a pay cut of US$ 30,000. Meanwhile, Lakmal and Chandimal have also been demoted to lower categories.

While the youngsters like Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lasith Embuldeniya have been rewarded for their performances, there are questions if the senior members will sign the contract or not.


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