Contract list for 2007-08 February 10, 2007

Sri Lanka players rewarded for results

Something to smile about: Mahela Jayawardene and his team-mates are set for a pay rise © AFP
The impressive efforts of the Sri Lanka team over the past 12 months has paid rich dividends with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) prepared to offer the national players a 40 percent pay hike for the next year.

For the next 12 months from March 1, 2007 the top Sri Lankan cricketer is due to receive in the region of US$100,000 (approx. Rs. 10 million) per annum while the lowest category player will receive US$10,000 (approx. Rs. one million). This is addition to the match fees they receive for Tests and ODIs.

SLC will also issue fresh contracts to 18 cricketers, eight less than the previous year. Middle-order batsman Chamara Silva is the only newcomer to be contracted, the rest will have their contracts renewed.

Silva, 27, who is a product from Panadura had a memorable tour of New Zealand. He hit 152 not out in the second Test at Wellington following an inauspicious start to his career when he bagged a pair at Christchurch on debut.

Akalanka Ganegama, Rangana Herath, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Jehan Mubarak, Ruchira Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Tilan Samaraweera, Michael Vandort and Sajeewa Weerakoon are those not offered fresh contracts.

A SLC spokesman said the players have been rewarded for their magnificent performances in the past year. He added that further benefits have been lined up for them depending on how they perform at next month's World Cup in the Caribbean.

During a successful 2006 Sri Lanka climbed two spots from seventh to fifth position in rankings of both forms of the game. They won six out of 11 Tests (along with three losses and two draws) and in ODIs they won 19 out of 36 matches with 15 losses. What has been most impressive in these victories is that Sri Lanka won the majority of their matches away from home, which is something of an achievement considering their poor overseas record.

Their record of four away wins from seven Tests places them second only to Australia and in one-day internationals all their 19 victories have been won outside the country. While their one-day bonus ratings remain unchanged the Test bonuses are expected to rise significantly by as much as 55 to 70 percent.

Sri Lanka's contracted players for 2007-08
Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Marvan Atapattu, Lasith Malinga, Upul Tharanga, Farveez Maharoof, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Silva, Upul Chandana, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Malinga Bandara, Russel Arnold