India Tour of Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Cricketers struggling for monies, pleads ‘please pay us – we are ready to sign contracts’

India Tour of Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Cricketers struggling for monies, pleads ‘please pay us - we are ready to sign contracts'
India Tour of Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Cricketers struggling for monies, pleads ‘please pay us - we are ready to sign contracts'

India Tour of Sri Lanka – Ind vs SL Series: The long-standing feud between the Sri Lanka Cricket board (SLC) and Lankan players have grown over the last few months, forcing many senior players including Angelo Mathews to contemplate retirement. The feud has especially put the young players in a precarious position as they have not been paid since January 2021. Those players have written to the SLC, saying they are ready to sign the annual contract, urging the board to clear their payments.

India Tour of Sri Lanka – Ind vs SL Series: Currently, the players are on a tour-to-tour contract. That means, only if they are selected for a series, they get paid. Those who miss out aren’t paid. The same has been for the India tour of Sri Lanka. The likes of skipper Dasun Shanaka and others are on a tour contract and get paid only for the tour.

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“As you are aware, we have not been paid since 1st of January 2021 in view of the newly-introduced evaluation system which, when finally was out in March 2021, the players were unclear of the methodology adopted, giving rise to the request that it be given in writing,” players wrote to the SLC on July 17 as per The Morning Sri Lanka.

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India Tour of Sri Lanka: Why Sri Lankan players don’t want to sign the contract?

– Lankan players are not in favour of the performance-based contracts as they accuse it lacks transparency.
– The players have already been given massive pay cut — up to 35% in case of some players.
– But it is the categorization which players are unanimously against. They believe SLC and its advisors haven’t been transparent while putting them in the categories.
– Currently, players on contract on tour-to-tour basis, forcing many to miss out on an earmarked salary.
– Senior players have been forced to sign tour contracts on many occasion as senior players have been adamant not signing contracts over the dispute. The SLC has time and again threatened to send second-string squad if they don’t sign tour contracts.

India Tour of Sri Lanka: Junior players stuck in crossfire

India Tour of Sri Lanka – Ind vs SL Series: While the junior players have been with the senior players in the battle against the board over the contract feud, they are now feeling the burnt as they have been struggling to meet ends without a central contract. Not many of them are picked for a series and without tour contract they aren’t paid.

“They were expecting the annual contract pretty badly. Now those new ones are finding it difficult to pay their housing leases and parents’ medical insurances etc while their personal family arrangements, such as marriages, too are put on hold,” a source told the Sunday Morning.

India Tour of Sri Lanka: The problem for junior players is that they have been stuck in the crossfire. While senior players have indulged in the dispute with the SLC, they have dragged the juniors along with them as they think the problem is of all cricketers in Sri Lanka. However, that approach has been met with heavy criticism from former players such as Muttiah Muralitharan, who is part of the Technical Advisory Committee which has drafted the contracts.

India Tour of Sri Lanka – Ind vs SL Series: He accused senior players like Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews of coercing with others to revolt as they are getting pay cuts under the new contract system. With a string of poor shows against England and then against India on Sunday where they lost by 7 wickets, the voices against them have only grown.

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“Those seniors are trying to destroy the careers of the juniors by making use of them for their own benefit,” accused Muralitharan.

India Tour of Sri Lanka – Ind vs SL Series: As per The Morning, the junior believe they have been held to ransom by seniors because the new contract would see them get 30% pay cut while the younger players will see their annual salary rise significantly.

“We thank you for acceding to our request, as we are now aware of how we have been categorised and placed on various structures for annual contracts based on performance, fitness and other specified criteria. We kindly request that SLC grant our annual contract with reciprocal effect, from 1st January 2021 for which [we] would be most grateful,” the junior players wrote in the letter.