Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 December 3, 2011

South Africa cricketers condemn Sri Lanka salary delay

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa's cricketers have lent their support to the Sri Lanka players, who have not been paid their salaries for eight months, saying it was a credit to the Sri Lanka team that they had kept going but the issue needed to be resolved soon. South Africa are set to host Sri Lanka for three Tests and five ODIs, but Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers, the Test and ODI captain respectively, chose to speak out against the Sri Lankan board, who have withheld their players' salaries due to a severe financial crunch.

"We want to show our support for Tillakaratne Dilshan and our fellow professional cricketers from Sri Lanka on this issue," Smith said in a South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) release. "It is far from ideal that the Sri Lankan team is about to start a tough Test series and ODI series here in South Africa without having been paid any of their remuneration for the last eight months."

Sri Lanka Cricket is waiting on payments of around US$ 4.3 million from the ICC for co-hosting the World Cup, but that will only arrive after the ICC complete their audit and the ICC have said it is SLC's responsibility to pay their players. "In this age of professionalism in cricket this kind of thing should not be happening," de Villiers said. "It's a credit to the players that they've kept playing for their country since March despite all of this. We hope it gets sorted out soon."

The Sri Lankan Cricketers' Association (SLCA) has contacted the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) to seek assistance on what can be done to ensure the players are paid, and SACA's chief-executive Tony Irish said he hoped for positive progress before Sri Lanka started their tour game against South Africa A on December 9. "It's difficult to understand how a board which has just co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup can find itself in such a desperate financial situation that it can't pay its national team of fully contracted professionals for months on end", Irish said. "We know that the players association in Sri Lanka is doing what it can to sort this out for the players and we hope for some positive progress before the first match of the tour starts against."

SLC has been in a financial crisis following the construction of new stadiums in Hambantota and Pallekele, and the renovation of the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo for the World Cup.

Upali Dharmadasa, the chairman of SLC's interim committee, was critical of the previous administration for spending expansively on those stadiums. He had said he was hopeful the players would be paid soon as he understood that the ICC audit had been completed and SLC would receive the remainder of the World Cup payment due to them.

Meanwhile, the three stadiums were handed over to the military earlier this month because the board was struggling to maintain them. The World Cup had left SLC in debt to the tune of $23 million and the board had to ask for a grant from the Sri Lanka government.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Let see who needs money? SL players: They train hard, play for their country. Represent their country abroad, They come home tired empty hand after all that hard work nothing to celebrate with. What do they get? they get criticize if they lost a match.

    SL board: Fat pigs close there eyes and randomly select the players and then put in the team whoever they like. Get their good salaries go home and enjoy.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Really a sad state of affairs. I hope this does not affect the quality of cricket from SL this upcoming test series. We want real tough test cricket! I hope they get paid soon. Perhaps Gerald could make a loan. He makes a FORTUNE!

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Well, thx for JosRoberts for comment "I wonder whether the directors of SLC have had to go without their salaries for the last 8 months too?"!!! I think sports minister and his batallien too are salaryless these days??? I think best way to sort this problem is stop salaries of all cricketing offocials including ministers and pay the teammates until whole debt of players covers. Then those guys can go and fight with ICC until they receive the dues ... Punish them instaed of players who do the real job ... Gud method eh?

  • Ridhwan on December 6, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    thats Amazing, True Patriotism, love Sri lakna team, This is an inspiration that u giving evryone, May U rise To the Top NOW, u deserve A salute from Cricket FANS. from Pakistan

  • chandana on December 5, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    An interesting fact many may not know of, which is for now a complaint among players in the clubs. Playing daytime cricket during the dry season in hambanthota is a nightmare! The heat is too much to bear even for us Asians and many feel dehydrated and get cramps. So will it be like the SHARJAH ICS , which will only host D/N ODI matches? what a waste of hard earned $$$. @ Robert Abayasekara : Pretty soon the ARMY will run everything in SL considering the budget allocation :) However a little knowledge of SL cricket structur is necessary to understand this plight. SL for donkey's years has been a "club criket country". Clubs had grounds they maintained and clubs had contracted players who played against each other. clubs had patrons and sponsors and various ancilliary facilities / activities to ensure fianacial viability. SLC shud have learnt when they built Premadasa stadium without a club to look after it. still they went ahead and built Dambulla first and Hambanthota next; LMAO:)

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    thank god CHINA doesnt have a cricket board nor its a cricket playing nation

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    salute to sri lankan players just solute them ............ now they have more respect then b4 in my eyes .......... love u lankan lion .......

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Plenty of opinion already shared. I am just writing in to salute the Sri Lankan players for their amazing commitment to their game and to their country. Not for no reason is Sri Lanka my favorite non Pakistani team in World cricket! :)

    Time and again, the Lankan lions have proved to be thorough professionals and true gentlemen!

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    This is a crazy situation where the armed services are now going to be in charge of maintaining the country's premier cricket grounds!!Wh rathery were these grounds built when there were perfectly adequate facilities already available - clearly to satisfy egos of the politicians. The cricketers deserve plaudits and our admiration for having kept going. The upcoming series in South Africa is going to be very challenging. They need the support of every Sri Lankan. Come on SRI LANKA. Let the wilow and the leather show Kepler Wessels what we are made of - Come on the Sri Lankan lion - let's roar!!!!!!

  • Dru on December 4, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Its good to see some international players support the SL cricketers. What a pathetic joke and still worse its the Government which caused this and is now apparently going to resolve it! If SL want to be taken seriously at an international leve the administrators must show some level of competence which is sadly lacking and no apparent action from the government against those who caused it - oh wait those were the government appointed cronies!

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