Sri Lanka news December 20, 2011

ICC pays part of Sri Lanka players dues directly

ESPNcricinfo staff
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The ICC has paid 42.36% of the fees due to Sri Lanka's cricketers from the 2011 World Cup to September 30, 2011, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The payment of US$2 million was made directly into the players' bank accounts, instead of routing it through Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on December 16.

The Sri Lankan players, who had not been paid since the tournament ended in April, were owed a total of about $4.3 million by SLC, who had not been able to pay the players because of financial constraints. The money from the ICC represented the participation fee from the tournament due to Sri Lanka.

While the money was paid directly, it was arranged with assistance from SLC, who told the ICC of the amounts owed to each player and provided their respective bank account details, a person with knowledge of the payments said. Tony Irish, the chief executive of the South African Players Association, said that arrangement to pay the players was negotiated between the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) and the Sri Lankan Players Association (SLCA).

Earlier this month the Sri Lanka sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, said the ICC had agreed to pay US$2 million to SLC and that the coach and players would be paid out of those funds. The SLCA had also contacted FICA for assistance over the delay in the cricketers' salaries for series following the World Cup this year.

SLC ran into financial problems after running up debts of $32.5 million to finance the building of two international stadiums in Hambantota and Pallekele, and to renovate the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, for the World Cup. All three stadiums have since been handed over to the military because the board was struggling to maintain them.