Sri Lanka news March 13, 2014

SLC offers contract compromise

SLC has offered its national cricketers a flat fee for ICC tournament participation, as well as further tiers of incentivised payment, in response to the players' demands for a 20% cut of the gross sum received by SLC for global events.

SLC's proposal represents a significant stride towards settling the ongoing contracts standoff, but the players are yet to agree to the revised terms for the two ICC tournaments on the horizon.

The team has been offered a guaranteed $500,000 for its participation in the imminent World T20 in Bangladesh, with a further $250,000 to be earned if they reach the final, and another $250,000 if they win the tournament.

Both nominally and proportionally, the incentives are better for next year's 50-over World Cup. There, the board has offered $750,000 for participation, $250,000 for a semi-final placing, another $250,000 for a final berth, and $750,000 more if Sri Lanka win the World Cup.

The figures had been deliberated at an executive committee meeting on Thursday, after the players and board had met for negotiations on Wednesday. SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said the board had presented these figures to the players, and were hopeful of a positive response from the team. The parties seek a solution before the team leaves for the World T20 early on Sunday.

"We have conveyed our decision to the captain Angelo Mathews and the vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal," de Silva said. "They will also discuss it over with the senior players. They were quite happy with it, but so far we haven't got any feedback from them.

"The response was good when it was conveyed to them, so hopefully, I think it should be okay."

De Silva did not specify the sum the board expected from the ICC for these events, but said that if the team reached the final of each tournament, they would be paid close to 20% of the figure the board had itself received. He also said the board would leave the decision of how this money should be divided within the squad, to the discretion of the captain.

The proposed delineation of the ICC fees payments to players further extends the board's recent policy of incentivising player pay. This year, the cricketers' base salary had also been tied to performance, with all players receiving a 7% hike on last year's pay, thanks to their top ranking in Twenty20s (5% increase) and top five ranking in ODIs (2% increase). Individual players had also received a one-off bonus based on their individual rankings, with Kumar Sangakkara taking a sum equal to 10% of his annual salary, thanks to his top five ranks in both Tests and ODIs.

The players had received 25% of the net fee paid by ICC to SLC under their 2012 contracts, but that payment had been stricken from agreements last year, after the board resorted to locking its players out. The players had agreed to sign last year's contracts on the understanding their share of the ICC events fee would be reintroduced in future years. However the parties came to a standoff once again this month, after SLC failed to offer a share of the ICC payment in this year's contracts.

The board also announced a payment of $100,000 to the players for winning the Asia Cup, on Thursday, as a gesture of goodwill.

SLC has not offered its women's team a guaranteed payment for participation in the 2014 World T20, but has put in place incentivised bonuses. SLC proposes to pay the team $50,000 if they reach the semi-finals, $25,000 for a place in the final, and a further $25,000 for winning the tournament.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here