Sri Lanka news February 14, 2013

SLC not to recognise player agents


Sri Lanka Cricket has decided not to recognise player agents and will take a harsh view of players who decline central contracts, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said. Players will still be allowed to have agents represent them elsewhere, but will not be able to involve their agents in dealings with SLC.

Ranatunga said he had made SLC's stance on player agents clear to new captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, and that the new policy to ignore agents and deal directly with players was borne out of a belief that agent involvement constituted a net negative to cricket in Sri Lanka.

"If you look at the past, the board used to correspond and communicate with the player agents," Ranatunga said. "At that time the board felt agents would allow the players to concentrate on the game as the agents would do the other work. But after what has happened in the past few years, the board took a clear decision not to recognise player agents, because they bring more negatives than positives.

"We explained to the new captain and the vice-captain that if there are any players who don't sign the SLC contracts within 10 days, we don't expect them to be in the national team."

In 2011, Lasith Malinga turned down a central contract with SLC, citing dissatisfaction with the amount the board had offered him. Malinga was placed in the top salary bracket, but was only eligible for 40% of the $100,000 the other players would receive, because he did not play Test cricket. He has, however, made himself available for every ODI and Twenty20 match for Sri Lanka since.

Ranatunga also emphasised that SLC's purview extended beyond the interests of the elite band of players who have agents, and suggested that in representing a handful of players, agents had been detrimental to both the game at large, and players without agents in particular.

"Agents are interested in looking after their players financially, and SLC has felt that they don't have the best interests of cricket at heart," he said. "Our job isn't to look after the 20 or 25 players who have agents. We have to think about every cricketer from 13-year-olds upwards, as well as club cricketers and provincial players. There are some who haven't earned a cent from the game, and we need to look after them and appreciate their efforts as well."

The Sri Lanka cricketers' central contracts expire at the end of February, and a new contract list will be drawn up and released by SLC soon after. In 2012, players and the board were locked in almost five months of negotiations over their contracts, after a heavily indebted SLC had failed to pay its players for almost eight months. Players threatened to boycott the Sri Lanka Premier League, and a clause requiring players to seek permission from the board before speaking to media had to be struck out, before an agreement was reached in July last year.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • madhawa on February 16, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    even though this is ranatunga who is talking, this is somebody else ideas. jayasuriya coming in to action means politics is also coming in to the game. shame on SLC who were not able to give the salaries to the players but spending money on unwanted things.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Is this done in the interest of cricket? I have my serious doubts about this. How I see this is, SLC wants to get rid of senior players and start controlling the younger players the way wish.

  • Madu on February 16, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    dont know much about the SL cricket admin but hope the strategy works.

  • Sakthi on February 15, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    This clearly show that SLC dont have any interest in taking care of players financial well being. If SLC have the best interests of cricket at heart, then why there is issue in SLC. This is clipping players freedom.

  • Dimuthu on February 15, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    on the surface it looks a bit odd, but I think SLC is right on the money here (pardon the pun). Those who don't know the going-ons within Sri Lankan cricket these days won't appreciate the influence these player agents have had and it's like a cancer spreading through the system. All the politics in SL cricket recently has had agents' involvement. Including the ludicrous appointment of Thilina Kandamby as Vice Captain/Captain! Playing for your country should be an honour. If you have grievances, use a players' body as a whole, not individual agents. The PCA (Professional Cricketers Association) in England does this job well. SLC should have something (strong) like that and agents will be redundant for genuine cases.

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    perhaps a good decisions but make an exception to Malinga, he's too important to lose out because of SLC policies

  • Milroy on February 15, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Good move by SLC and and Ranatung: "We have to think about every cricketer from 13-year-olds upwards, as well as club cricketers and provincial players. There are some who haven't earned a cent from the game, and we need to look after them and appreciate their efforts as well."

    Most of our top players have made enough money from the game and it would be hard for "BANKRUPTED" SLC to rule them but instead they should work around with them to get back something to the game for the betterment of SLC. No one can stop Mahela, Sanga and Malinga making $$$.

    Why not design a separate contract for agents, so they know their do's and don'ts??

    There will always be shadow agent's who will rule SLC??

  • Dhushan on February 15, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    FINALLY, a stern stance by SLC. I would really like to see how they take this forward.

  • Cham on February 15, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Although I wud be very reluctant to believe anything coming out if Nishantha's mouth, these 'agents' acting as the 'middle men' does lead to less control over the players It's true, having an agent will help the player great deal especially in modern day criket. The agent will provide a wide range of opportunites to a player ranging from a IPL contract to a County Stint, and that is fine............ the problem however lies in the following example:......

    -.............When Angelo Mathews was injured prior to the Final of 2011 CWC, his agent "announced" that the allrounder will be unavailable for the selection for the top XI in the final. The announcement came even BEFORE the SLC has decided on the matter let alone make a media statement. Eventhough same decision was revealed in the SLC media briefing, the agent should have NO business declaring player's fitness regarding the NATIONAL DUTY. He can make those kinda statements during IPL or County Championship, as the pla

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Whatta decision has made by SLC...........Bravo

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