India Tour of Sri Lanka: SLC to drop Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne from India series over contract dispute, 5 others removed from camp

India Tour of Sri Lanka: SLC shuts the door on Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne after leading revolt over contract dispute
India Tour of Sri Lanka: SLC shuts the door on Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne after leading revolt over contract dispute

India Tour of Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne might have been their star performer and top scorer in the ICC World Test Championship, but he is all set to be dropped for the India series if he refuses to sign the contract. Sri Lanka Cricket has sent a stern warning to players who have refused to sign contracts by removing five players from the national camp. While Karunaratne wasn’t among them, SLC is preparing to take action against the star player for leading a revolt over not signing the revamped contract.

Other than Dimuth Karunaratne, five players part of Sri Lanka’s residential camp for the India series — Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, and Kasun Rajitha — were offered tour contract after they failed to come to an agreement over the central contract. However, after they refused to sign the tour contract, they were ousted from the camp. The camp which began on Friday (June 25), will go on with the remaining 21 players till July 22. However, the doors are still open for the five players if they sign the contract before the training starts.

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India Tour of Sri Lanka: “These five were offered a tour contract. That is when you participate, they will also be considered for national selection for the Indian tour. For the Indian tour, you need to have a tour contract, which they didn’t sign as they are part of the 24 players offered national contracts. If they sign the tour agreement before the commencement of training for the Indian tour the selectors will consider them,” said Ashley de Silva, SLC CEO.

“Until the national contract issue is resolved they were asked to sign the tour contract if they are going to be available for the Indian series so that they can go into a bubble as we are investing in them. But they were reluctant to sign the tour contract and therefore they were left out of the residential camps. They did not join the bubble in Dambulla or Colombo,” he added.

India Tour of Sri Lanka: However, things don’t look bright for Dimuth Karunaratne. The Test captain has come under fire for refusing to sign the contract and lead others in the team to revolt against SLC. He is likely to lose his captaincy and his place in the team.

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One of the staff who is with the team in England said that factions within the team and selfish play are two of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s poor performance.

“There are at least three factions within the team and there is no unity at all. Kusal Perera is not one with considerable captaincy experience. That was quite evident in the way he led the team and changed his bowlers in the middle when England were batting (in the first two matches),” a Sri Lanka team source told The Morning.

“The main reason for the batsmen to not going for big shots is that what they want is to protect their wickets. They are playing a personal game. They are more worried about their place in the side and only want to have a reasonable personal score to save their place for the next match. They don’t take a risk to play hard and lose their wicket. Now nobody is certain about their place,” the source added.

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