Sri Lanka news February 27, 2014

Chandimal awarded top contract by SLC


Test and ODI vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal has been moved to the top earners' bracket, as Sri Lanka Cricket scrapped six national contracts in 2014, reducing their list from 23 players to 17. There were few other surprises in the list. Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera advanced to the second and third brackets respectively, while Kaushal Silva, who joins at the fourth rung, is the only new name in the contracts list.

Among those who have not had their contracts renewed, Dimuth Karunaratne and Nuwan Pradeep remain a part of the national setup, having played in both the UAE and Bangladesh Test tours. Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welegedara, Upul Tharanga and Jeevan Mendis - who have been dropped or remained unavailable due to injury over the past year - are the other omissions from last year's list. 

The special category for players who are unlikely to play all formats swelled to three, with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga joining Test-specialist Prasanna Jayawardene there. Malinga had last year been a level one player, but he had only been eligible for a fraction of the pay the Test players in that same category had earned.

All 17 players will receive a 7% hike on their 2013 pay - an increase that is driven by the team's rankings in limited-overs cricket. The players receive a 2% increase for their fifth rank in ODIs and a 5% raise for their top rank in Twenty20 cricket. Having played only seven Tests in the past 12 months - four of those against Bangladesh - Sri Lanka remained below fifth on the Test rankings, and the players are ineligible for an increase for that format.

SLC has further incentivised players' contracts by tying a one-off bonus to individual rankings. Kumar Sangakkara is the major beneficiary of the new system, receiving a payment equivalent to 10% of his annual salary for his top-five rank among both Test and ODI batsmen. Rangana Herath earns a 6% bonus for his top-ten rank in Test and ODI bowling, while Dilshan gets a 3% payment for his top-ten place in ODI batting. High ranks in Twenty20 cricket are worth less than for the other formats, and Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara earned a 3% and 2% payment respectively, for their third and ninth rankings.

A dispute over 2013's contracts had led to a 24-hour lockout for the players last year, largely over the non-payment of 25% of the board's earnings from ICC events. Though the players had signed last year's contracts on the understanding that payment may be re-introduced in future years, the players remain ineligible for that payment under the new contracts.

Full list of contracted players
Category 1: Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal
Category 2: Lahiru Thirimane, Ajantha Mendis
Category 3: Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera
Category 4: Shaminda Eranga, Sachithra Senanayake, Kaushal Silva, Suranga Lakmal
Special category: Prasanna Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gayan on March 5, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    About Chandimal, I really feel he is a world class talent and with the time (with having permanent position in the batting order) he could become the player to watch in SL. Mathews currently getting permanent No. 5 position in all formats and he performing. Its not easy to play in any position given with consistent performing. I feel Dilshan and Mahela will consider their retirements after next world cup. Sanga may stay for another couple of years after the World Cup. .I think in this scenario, selector might consider the attitude of players also. Chandimal known for a hard worker and team player. He skipped IPL for 2 consecutive years for player commitments. Im sure that selectors trying to get a skipper out of him like Arjuna.

  • Dilum on March 4, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Chandimal is a really talented cricketer. he is just going through a hard time. he just need some time. playing him while he is failing will destroy his future. he shouldn't have given the t20 captaincy in fact he is not even be in the t20 team. Just let him play some 1st class cricket and some time with coaches he will bounce back again. about these contracts well no one actually knows how these were awarded therefore i don't know how to comment on them.

  • varuna on March 1, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    What happened to Dammika Prasad.The fast bowler.Why he is not catogarised in the contract list?Is he not good enough?

  • Kepili on February 28, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Everyone is shouting about Chandimal! This seems to be a good ploy by SLC to MASK the astonishingly contrasting DISCREPANCIES visible in TREATMENT of some players like Upul Tharanga (171 ODIs- 5228 Runs Av. 33.94 - 13x100s - 28x50s). Didn't he score 174* vs India in Kingstn to WIN a match for SL last July? Unfortunately, just 4 weeks later, he was axed! Obviously to make room for Kusal the flat deck lucky player, who was parachuted to the ODI side initially as a substitute wicket keeper despite having 3 wkt keepers in the side. It is interesting to note how K. Perera ADVANCED to the third bracket, while a player like Tharanga was NOT even OFFERED a contract! This is how Kusal fared as an OPENER in 18 ODIs Against all Countries (OTHER THAN Bang.) his Batting AVERAGE is mere 18.4 (16 ODI ings - 295 Runs- 2x50 - Av18.4) including today's LUCKY inning 64 that he got 2 lives, extremely lucky one at just 7 due to a fielder collision! The CRITERIA for ADVANCEMENTS in SL Cricket is a SHAME!!!

  • Buddhika on February 28, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Chandimal and Prasanna in Wrong categories . Give respect to Prasanna and move him up in to next level . Make a new special group for people like UPUL and JEEWAN MENDIS,PRASAD, DIMUTH KARUNARATHNE.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    I agree with the the previous comments made.What were the note worthy performances by Chandimal to put him in category 1. Pl.explain Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya and hierarchy officials of SL Cricket.Is it politics?

  • Nick on February 28, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    When Mitchell Johnson broke Sangakkara's hand in Australia, the selectors flew out Lahiru Thirimanne for the Sydney test, even though Chandimal was in the SL touring squad. Thirimanne arrived the day before, batted at no 4 and made an impressive 94, against a fast relentless Australian attack. I am surprised Chandimal is rewarded with a higher national contract for 2014 ahead of Thirimanne, who contiues to impress with a run-a-ball 102 opening against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, while Chandimal batted at 8!

  • Jaminda on February 28, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Chandimal's scoring record is very poor. His average speaks for itself nothing to challenge. He is not suitable to captain SL in any format. Sad state !

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    What happen to Upul Tharanga?

  • Manoj on February 28, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    The increases are very reasonable and performance driven well done and Kumar Sangakkara deserves the best for his batting pinnacles and his ranking as the in the best 10 in batting and Herath for bowling. Non performers will have to really prove their mantle with performance and the new players will try to now stamp the class. so overall good work and Chandimal is our future and he will develop to be a good crickerter to our country

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