SL players refuse to sign contracts; England tour in doubt
In a major development, a total of 38 players have refused to sign the tour contracts offered by Sri Lanka Cricket ahead of the England tour. The players have declined the offer amid their ongoing tussle with the board regarding central contracts. Notably, Sri Lanka are scheduled to tour England for their limited-overs tour later this month. Here are further details.
Players who have refused to sign the tour contract: Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Dasun Shanaka, 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 Gunathilaka, Ashen Bandara, Akila Dananjaya, Chamika Karunaratne, Asitha Fernando
Players who have refused to sign the tour contract: Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Ishan Jayaratne, Charith Asalanka, Dananjaya Lakshan, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamil Mishara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Roshen Silva, Minod Bhanuka
SLC had announced a five-point grading system to offer packages for its annually-contracted cricketers. This assessment model includes the parameters of Performance (50%), Fitness (20%), Leadership (10%), Professionalism (10%), and Future Potential and Adaptability (10%). The players were slotted into four grades, A, B, C, D, with each grade having three further sub-categories with different retainer values.
SLC had set a deadline of June 3 for signing the national contracts. However, a joint-statement by all 24 cricketers read, "not in agreement to sign unfair and non-transparent contracts and urge SLC to not hold the players at gunpoint or give the players such ultimatums." The players expressed "shock and dismay" that their proposed salary details were revealed to the public
As many as 38 players have refused to sign the tour contracts. "Because of the problems with the transparency of the ratings system devised by SLC, the players will not sign the [tour contract]," read a release signed by the players. Their lawyer, Nishan Premathiratne, speaking to ESPNcricinfo said, "The tour contract also refers to matters of the annual, which is yet unsigned."
As per reports, the next few days will see a negotiation between Sri Lanka cricket board and the concerned players over the dispute. Sri Lanka are due to tour England for a limited-overs series comprising three T20Is and as many ODIs, starting June 23. Their departure is scheduled for June 9. It remains to be seen if Sri Lanka fulfil their tour obligations.