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October 23, 2006
The Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association (SLCA) hasn't been given official recognition by the home board despite being in existence for five years and being recognised by the Federation of International Cricket Associations (FICA), but Graeme Labrooy, the SLCA secretary, has admitted that they have worked well with the board.
"We have not been given a reason why we have not been recognised, but Sri Lanka Cricket has been very supportive towards us in the many projects we have undertaken," said Labrooy, who is also the FICA representative from Sri Lanka. "We understand each other and we work on a day-to-day basis. Because we are the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia, FICA has been in constant touch with us in dealing with Asian cricket affairs."
Labrooy, a former Sri Lanka fast bowler who appeared in nine Tests and 44 ODIs between 1986 and 1992, recalled the role played by SLCA in resolving the contracts issue which arose between the Sri Lanka Board and its players during the 2002 Champions trophy and the 2003 World Cup.
"That was the only time we were given some sort of official recognition by the local cricket board," said Labrooy. "On those occasions the ICC were dealing more with us than the board."
The SLCA was established in 2001 and had the then captain and vice-captain of the team as the president and vice-president of the association, but as Labrooy explained: "Due to undue pressure brought upon them by the players and the board we decided to abolish that practice three years ago."
For the past two years elected members have been running the SLCA. The current president is Pramodya Wickremasinghe, another former Sri Lanka fast bowler who is more into politics after he retired from the game four years ago. Wickremasinghe, who played in 40 Tests and 134 ODIs, said his only association with the game was being president of SLCA. Their next AGM is due on November 20, and Wickremasinghe is certain of being re-elected president.
SLCA has a membership of 389, the majority of them being past and present cricketers, with 300 of them holding voting rights. Ken de Alwis (treasurer), Uvaisul Karnain, Romesh Kaluwitharana (committee members) and Chaminda Mendis (Players Welfare) are former cricketers holding key administrative posts at SLCA.