Sri Lanka news March 4, 2013

Sri Lanka contracts crisis ends

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Sri Lanka's top cricketers signed Sri Lanka Cricket's contracts on Monday, bringing the crisis to an official end, after having been frozen out by SLC during the weekend. A resolution appeared unlikely as late as Sunday afternoon, but a meeting between chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya and the players, approved by SLC, broke the deadlock and a four-tiered contracts list has since been issued.

The top pay category has been expanded from five players to seven, with new captain Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and Rangana Herath joining Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga in the top bracket. Thilan Samaraweera, who was in last year's top tier, has been put in a special category with Prasanna Jayawardene, as both players will only be considered for Test selection. Twenty20 captain and Test and ODI vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal has been given a category two contract.

Lower down in the hierarchy Dimuth Karunaratne, Shaminda Eranga, Jeevan Mendis, Kushal Perera, Nuwan Pradeep and Sachithra Senanayake have all been offered central contracts for the first time. Dilhara Fernando, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chamara Kapugedara are the players to miss out, having held central contracts in 2012. Suraj Randiv has been reissued a contract despite not having been named in the squad for the first Test against Bangladesh.

SLC officials said they were pleased the players could begin focussing on cricket ahead, after the contracts issue had been resolved. SLC CEO Ajit Jayasekara said there would be no negative consequences for the players who had refused to sign their contracts by deadline. "As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed," he said.

Jayasuriya, who had personally set up the discussion that ended the deadlock, reiterated SLC's commitment to move past the dispute, and said agreement was reached amicably. "I explained to the players as the chairman of selectors, what we are trying to do in Sri Lankan cricket. They accepted that and were happy, and said that they would try. In the end they wanted to play for Sri Lanka."

The major contention for players was SLC's refusal to pay 25% of the board's earnings from ICC events as they have done since 2003. This payment was to compensate players for the use of their image by the ICC and its sponsors for the duration of the tournament. Although the players agreed to sign away that payment for this year, they had only done so in the hope that dialogue about that money would continue with SLC, with the chance for that payment to be reintroduced in future contracts.

An SLC release on Monday said that after the contracts were issued, the players had proposed investing part of their share from the ICC payment into cricket development, but this was rejected by the board, who felt "cricket development purview should be vested with the governing body, than with players in concern".

The release further said SLC expected to pay 67% of its 2013 revenue on the 23 players with national contracts. "If SLC agreed to grant the players' request to include the guarantee fee component to the contract value, SLC will have to bear 81% of its annual revenue towards the 23 Cricketers, leaving no provision for a successful all round year. SLC's stance towards this matter was maintained taking in to account all cricketing interests pertaining to Sri Lanka."

Mahela Jayawardene is the only player who has not yet signed a contract, but he is expected to do so when he returns to the country.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    @Mafaz: They being PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN, (when I say PROFESSIONAL, earning a living out of playing sports) It's their livelihood they are concern about. Wont we are our management for a raise or bonus when the company does well? any 1 may say, wel, they earn alot through sponsors as well; true that, does that mean just becos our part time job pays us well we shouldn't ask a raise from the company?

  • POSTED BY Sal_H on | March 6, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Its very good news. No cricketer would want to miss playing for the national team for financial reasons, whatever they have to sacrifice.

  • POSTED BY Malij on | March 6, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Wonder why don't they place Malinga who does not play test cricket also in special category. It is very unfair that two players, Dulip and Prasanna who had served Sri Lanka well in the past have been singled out for step motherly treatment. Malinga has proven again and again that he is reserving his best for the IPL and not for his own country that had given him everything. It is time that officials open their eyes and weed out such people from the squad.

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | March 5, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Those who are saying country comes 1st, they should remember it also applies to SLC too. Didn't the players played without money in last year or so. When Malinga got injured in 2007-2008 SLC scrapped his contract and left by himself until he came through IPL. Is that the cricket development and country comes first?

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | March 5, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    I do not think SLC is going to use the money for good cause. This is where the issue is. Can anyone name a player that SLC brought to world class level in since 2000? Both Mahela and Sanga are makings of before 2000. There are good prospects but SLC investing on other. Malinga and Ajantha few after 2000 but SLC doesn't want to pay them to their potential. And it is not players getting 81% of the SLC revenue; it is SLC taking 19% from players and need more to operate. SLC doesn't have a solid revenue and good sponsorship. If one talks about revenue, what is the SLC income from SLPL? Big money for SLC is from player image, i.e. IPL, If a player doesn't earn money there is no money for SLC. It should be other way around SLC should have money even if player has no money.

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    thanka mr.jayasuriya setting this problam...

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Quoted # They being PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN, (when I say PROFESSIONAL, earning a living out of playing sports) It's their livelihood they are concern about. Wont we are our management for a raise or bonus when the company does well? any 1 may say, wel, they earn alot through sponsors as well; true that, does that mean just becos our part time job pays us well we shouldn't ask a raise from the company?

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I would say Thisara Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne deserve at least category 2 contracts.

  • POSTED BY MaxG9 on | March 5, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    True, SLC is short of money. But the main reasons for this are wasteful expenditure, excess staff & excessive salaries & building of cricket stadiums way beyond their means. There is no way they can pay for these over the next 15 years even unless the Treasury ultimately agrees to forego the debt in part or in full. The annual operating income barely covers the annual operating expenses.

    Having been excessively profligate in the past it is unfair to expect the only segment of their organisation who regularly performs at World class level, to share in the pain in an unfair manner. Remember your coffers will start flowing again only if you put quality players on the park.

    People forget that it is only a relative few of the SL players who obtain lucrative IPL/Big Bash contracts &/or get the best sponsorship deals. Also, a players career is limited. Therefore all 60 contracted players should be adequately looked after & morale & pride in playing for ones Country will flow naturally.

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @ Rehan N Karyan> I raised ghe salary issue since Shamil had brought this issue in. When 23 players are going to share 81% of the revenue, don't you think they don't have any heart what the future of SL cricket has in store. The rest 19% to be used to cover the cost, delelop cricket in the country, pay all other 1stclass cricketers, conduct provincial & club tournaments etc.. It sounds so unrealistic. These players should think better. They already live luxary lives with allot in store for their future.

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    @Mafaz: They being PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN, (when I say PROFESSIONAL, earning a living out of playing sports) It's their livelihood they are concern about. Wont we are our management for a raise or bonus when the company does well? any 1 may say, wel, they earn alot through sponsors as well; true that, does that mean just becos our part time job pays us well we shouldn't ask a raise from the company?

  • POSTED BY Sal_H on | March 6, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Its very good news. No cricketer would want to miss playing for the national team for financial reasons, whatever they have to sacrifice.

  • POSTED BY Malij on | March 6, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Wonder why don't they place Malinga who does not play test cricket also in special category. It is very unfair that two players, Dulip and Prasanna who had served Sri Lanka well in the past have been singled out for step motherly treatment. Malinga has proven again and again that he is reserving his best for the IPL and not for his own country that had given him everything. It is time that officials open their eyes and weed out such people from the squad.

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | March 5, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Those who are saying country comes 1st, they should remember it also applies to SLC too. Didn't the players played without money in last year or so. When Malinga got injured in 2007-2008 SLC scrapped his contract and left by himself until he came through IPL. Is that the cricket development and country comes first?

  • POSTED BY SLMaster on | March 5, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    I do not think SLC is going to use the money for good cause. This is where the issue is. Can anyone name a player that SLC brought to world class level in since 2000? Both Mahela and Sanga are makings of before 2000. There are good prospects but SLC investing on other. Malinga and Ajantha few after 2000 but SLC doesn't want to pay them to their potential. And it is not players getting 81% of the SLC revenue; it is SLC taking 19% from players and need more to operate. SLC doesn't have a solid revenue and good sponsorship. If one talks about revenue, what is the SLC income from SLPL? Big money for SLC is from player image, i.e. IPL, If a player doesn't earn money there is no money for SLC. It should be other way around SLC should have money even if player has no money.

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    thanka mr.jayasuriya setting this problam...

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Quoted # They being PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN, (when I say PROFESSIONAL, earning a living out of playing sports) It's their livelihood they are concern about. Wont we are our management for a raise or bonus when the company does well? any 1 may say, wel, they earn alot through sponsors as well; true that, does that mean just becos our part time job pays us well we shouldn't ask a raise from the company?

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I would say Thisara Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne deserve at least category 2 contracts.

  • POSTED BY MaxG9 on | March 5, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    True, SLC is short of money. But the main reasons for this are wasteful expenditure, excess staff & excessive salaries & building of cricket stadiums way beyond their means. There is no way they can pay for these over the next 15 years even unless the Treasury ultimately agrees to forego the debt in part or in full. The annual operating income barely covers the annual operating expenses.

    Having been excessively profligate in the past it is unfair to expect the only segment of their organisation who regularly performs at World class level, to share in the pain in an unfair manner. Remember your coffers will start flowing again only if you put quality players on the park.

    People forget that it is only a relative few of the SL players who obtain lucrative IPL/Big Bash contracts &/or get the best sponsorship deals. Also, a players career is limited. Therefore all 60 contracted players should be adequately looked after & morale & pride in playing for ones Country will flow naturally.

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @ Rehan N Karyan> I raised ghe salary issue since Shamil had brought this issue in. When 23 players are going to share 81% of the revenue, don't you think they don't have any heart what the future of SL cricket has in store. The rest 19% to be used to cover the cost, delelop cricket in the country, pay all other 1stclass cricketers, conduct provincial & club tournaments etc.. It sounds so unrealistic. These players should think better. They already live luxary lives with allot in store for their future.

  • POSTED BY on | March 5, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    @Mafaz & Sharmil...Your arguments are fair enough...but the key thing is that if a raise should be given only when the SLC is making profits that will never happen in this lifetime. lol....

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Sangakkara said "'Mental strength is about not being afraid to make mistakes'":

    Alas, two World Cup finals were turned the opponent's way by two crucially dropped catches by Nuwan Kulasekera (Gambhir and Marlon Samuels). Likely, these two affected Sri Lanka very badly . Kulaserera should have learnt from his first time. He should not be in the 'premier' category. This is sending the wrong message to the youngsters.

  • POSTED BY Perera32 on | March 4, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    @Ankit Purohit: Really??, Sri lanka are going down the rankings?, Sri lanka are an outstanding team in ODI's and T20's (1st Ranked). They lack a fast bowler in test matches but are far from being a bad team in Tests. You mentioned Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja, B Kumar and Ashwin as being good players and I'm sure they are good players but compare them to the Sri lankan Youngsters and there is not much Difference mate. The Sri lankan Younger players have excelled outside of the sub continent as well, In our Previous tours of Aus, SA and Eng: Players like Thirimanne, Chandimal, Mathews, Dananjaya,Thisara and Kusual Perera have shown great potential. As for Older players, SL only have Dilshan, Mahela and Sangakkara as the seniors, the rest are all younger players too.

  • POSTED BY riverbaby11 on | March 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Indian Opinion - SLC is on the right path here , there are limits to player earning potential in small markets, that's just how it is. If players making a bit less means money for the development of the game then that is a positive development.I hope SLC manages the money wisely this time and invest in cricket instead of aping BCCI model of big stadiums and world cup hosting. No one remembers where the games are hosted , we only remember who wins the world cup.Cricket needs more Muralis and Aravindas than fancy new stadiums.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 4, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    There is no doubt that paying 23 players 81% of total SLC revenue is completely unreasonable. I am glad good sense prevailed. Everyone likes to keep their privileges and fringe benefits (I am not different). But, in the end, there has to be a balance. I think what the board is now paying - 60+% of revenue goes to 23 players - that is totally fair.

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    @ Ramesh Dharshana Perera and @Raki99 :-

    both of u guys need to clear your stats first, @Raki99 u r right that SRILANKA will go down as they are already in bottom of the ranking chart, they had their days when Jaysurya, De'silva were there. Another thing about India, so u dont need to worry and look at the current team, only Sachin as a senior player, is playing(considering Bhajji as, ahhh just a third spinner ;-) ) and India is doing well without them, look at Poojara, kohli, bhuvneswar kumar, ashwin, jadeja... I am not saying they already filled the positions of SACHIN,DRAVID,DADA,LAXMAN,Zaheer,kumble but experience will make the difference as they have more than enough time left.

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    @ sl_cricket & M. Shamil> I think you didn't get my point clear. I said whatever the administration does, as a player you should take pride playing for your country. Do you seriously think what these players are being paid is not enough for their future. I work for an company which didn't give us a raise for 3 years when the company was not gaining profits. Such is the situation at SLC and they are facing huge debts. We pay our hard earned money to go and watch these players playing because we love our country. These players are the pride of a nation. The manner they have acted is very sad to see.

  • POSTED BY ByzGenProb on | March 4, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    It is only a matter of time before ICC investigates SLC. SLC already maybe in violation of some ICC regulations such as Code of conduct for players and player support personnel, Code of ethics for ICC, Anti corruption code for participants which includes Extortion etc etc, Player eligibility and many others. If violations are serious enough, there will be sanctions, including loss of test status which will result in loss of revenue for SLC. Unfortunately, greed and exploitation seems to permeate every decision making body involved in cricket in Sri Lanka. ICC needs to investigate this now and take necessary actions immediately. One final thing that all parties in SL, from the sports ministry down to the players, need to remember is that quality dictates revenue....

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    raki99..we have loads of young players..And Sanga and Mahela can easilly play for another 2,3 years if they want even more

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 4, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    @Posted by Raki99 ; Oh..Please enough with this, how SL cricket go downhill once big trio is gone. You guys keep playing the same record. We have a plenty of young players to take their places. Stop worrying about us n do something for yours.

  • POSTED BY seantells on | March 4, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    given all that fine long as performence is proven

  • POSTED BY Raki99 on | March 4, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Srilanka just like india is going to be in huge trouble when Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara retires which is just a year or two from now. All this three players are above 35 and as a batsman this where your downfall starts.

  • POSTED BY indirockz on | March 4, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Posted by sl_cricket on (March 4, 2013, 14:52 GMT) @Mar players are not selfish, you dont how much money players being paid, its one of the lowest among cricketing nations. This team is one of the top team - See more at: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/current/story/623478.html#sthash.pLEi8q31.dpuf.....dude how long you will keep staying in your daydreams of a top team?

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | March 4, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Simple fact here is that our players who bring in the money ARE FORCED TO PAY and suffer for the actions and wrong decisions of the board committee. PATHETIC!

  • POSTED BY udanasr86 on | March 4, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Sri Lankans who always back their favorite characters but not the principles/values may believe their heroes have been exploited by SLC... but just think what if the soldiers demanded higher salaries and benefits during the critical times of war...hmm you and i may not have last this long...

    With all due respect to Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Lasith Malinga and rest of the cricketers please remember just a speech won't mean anything until you be the person whom you describe.

    SLC may be corrupted, politicized and as bad as you say BUT that does not mean you deserve everything you demand. Every Sri Lankan including you and I are important. We do something for our motherland and we deserve something in return. Yes you may deserve more than you are getting now. Maybe Aussie cricketers are getting ten times as much as you do. But remember one thing it is the same even for other professionals.

    see below......

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | March 4, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    It is always disappointing when well paid administrators, try to short-change players in an attempt to balance the books ....

    No administrator should be making more than your Test Captain (i.e - the highest paid player)

    Administrators have careers which can last 20-30 years , and they can work in the private sector outside of cricket .....

    It is ridiculous when your highest paid sportsman (the captain) , is making 1/5th or as little as 1/10th of what the board president makes (considering he has a 10 year cap on his career, and only 3-4 years as captain making top dollar) ..

    ICC should have a policy on the administrator / player salary discrepancy .....

    eg - put a cap on Administrator salaries as a percentage of the Captain's expected yearly salary ..

    eg - max 250% cap President Salary - and 200% on VP ect, ect,

  • POSTED BY sl_cricket on | March 4, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @Mar players are not selfish, you dont how much money players being paid, its one of the lowest among cricketing nations. This team is one of the top team, that has done well over last few years specially in icc tournaments.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | March 4, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Was it ever a crisis? Looks more like player power, must have taken a leaf out of Brian Lara's book of "how to strike and demand money".

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    i told SL brothers thats its a drama only nothing else , my point of view SL players are selfish , they should understand how economics crisis are effected in world economy , board need invest mony in country cricket development as well , if players takes all money how they can work for cricket development . other way more than 10 SL players are playing in IPL and they lots of money from that too . best of luck FOR SL cricket feom BANGLADESH.

  • POSTED BY sl_cricket on | March 4, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    @Mafaz, you seriously dont know what you'r talking about man. Its not players fault for SLC's financial problems, This is their profession and they also have to think about their future, after cricket . this board is one of the corrupt governing body in the country. Its disappointing to see the players signing the contract,

  • POSTED BY U.S.Bandara on | March 4, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Thanks Sana for settling the problem. We hope both sri lankan players and administrators will act with responsibility.

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    No player should be valued more than the spirit of the game. Also an player should take pride of playing for his nation than the bucks. Whatever the administration does, it should have not made the players act in such manner. Countey comes 1st. Sad that the way some senior players have acted. All the best for the future.

  • POSTED BY LoveLanka on | March 4, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    LoveLanka : Now this is really good news. good that it didn't drag for days untill it bocome a sore issue. because the effect of this would have been massive and uncorrectable. now that the players agreed to sign, i believe the SLC board must now show a positive approach too, buy listening to the players to fully erase the troubling points in this. kudos to players for taking the right decision at right time for the sake of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Cricket. True Sri Lankan.

  • POSTED BY LoveLanka on | March 4, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    LoveLanka : Now this is really good news. good that it didn't drag for days untill it bocome a sore issue. because the effect of this would have been massive and uncorrectable. now that the players agreed to sign, i believe the SLC board must now show a positive approach too, buy listening to the players to fully erase the troubling points in this. kudos to players for taking the right decision at right time for the sake of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Cricket. True Sri Lankan.

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    No player should be valued more than the spirit of the game. Also an player should take pride of playing for his nation than the bucks. Whatever the administration does, it should have not made the players act in such manner. Countey comes 1st. Sad that the way some senior players have acted. All the best for the future.

  • POSTED BY U.S.Bandara on | March 4, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Thanks Sana for settling the problem. We hope both sri lankan players and administrators will act with responsibility.

  • POSTED BY sl_cricket on | March 4, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    @Mafaz, you seriously dont know what you'r talking about man. Its not players fault for SLC's financial problems, This is their profession and they also have to think about their future, after cricket . this board is one of the corrupt governing body in the country. Its disappointing to see the players signing the contract,

  • POSTED BY on | March 4, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    i told SL brothers thats its a drama only nothing else , my point of view SL players are selfish , they should understand how economics crisis are effected in world economy , board need invest mony in country cricket development as well , if players takes all money how they can work for cricket development . other way more than 10 SL players are playing in IPL and they lots of money from that too . best of luck FOR SL cricket feom BANGLADESH.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | March 4, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Was it ever a crisis? Looks more like player power, must have taken a leaf out of Brian Lara's book of "how to strike and demand money".

  • POSTED BY sl_cricket on | March 4, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @Mar players are not selfish, you dont how much money players being paid, its one of the lowest among cricketing nations. This team is one of the top team, that has done well over last few years specially in icc tournaments.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | March 4, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    It is always disappointing when well paid administrators, try to short-change players in an attempt to balance the books ....

    No administrator should be making more than your Test Captain (i.e - the highest paid player)

    Administrators have careers which can last 20-30 years , and they can work in the private sector outside of cricket .....

    It is ridiculous when your highest paid sportsman (the captain) , is making 1/5th or as little as 1/10th of what the board president makes (considering he has a 10 year cap on his career, and only 3-4 years as captain making top dollar) ..

    ICC should have a policy on the administrator / player salary discrepancy .....

    eg - put a cap on Administrator salaries as a percentage of the Captain's expected yearly salary ..

    eg - max 250% cap President Salary - and 200% on VP ect, ect,

  • POSTED BY udanasr86 on | March 4, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Sri Lankans who always back their favorite characters but not the principles/values may believe their heroes have been exploited by SLC... but just think what if the soldiers demanded higher salaries and benefits during the critical times of war...hmm you and i may not have last this long...

    With all due respect to Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Lasith Malinga and rest of the cricketers please remember just a speech won't mean anything until you be the person whom you describe.

    SLC may be corrupted, politicized and as bad as you say BUT that does not mean you deserve everything you demand. Every Sri Lankan including you and I are important. We do something for our motherland and we deserve something in return. Yes you may deserve more than you are getting now. Maybe Aussie cricketers are getting ten times as much as you do. But remember one thing it is the same even for other professionals.

    see below......

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | March 4, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Simple fact here is that our players who bring in the money ARE FORCED TO PAY and suffer for the actions and wrong decisions of the board committee. PATHETIC!