Sri Lanka news

SL in contracts standoff again

Andrew Fidel Fernando

March 7, 2014

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Sanath Jayasuriya talks to Kumar Sangakkara in the company of Mahela Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal, Colombo, July 18, 2013
Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya is a key figure in the negotiations between the players and the board © AFP

Sri Lanka's national cricketers and their board have squared off over player income for the third year running, with the players steadfast in their rejection of the new annual contracts, a week after their previous agreements had expired. Debate on key issues within the board means the standoff is less likely to escalate to a full-blown crisis this year, although the players have dug in on their demands.

As in 2013, the players' defiance is driven by the board's refusal to share its income from ICC events with the cricketers. The players had received 25% of SLC's income from global events until March last year, when SLC culled that payment from the 2013 contracts. On that occasion, the players had eventually agreed to sign their ICC event fees away after a 24-hour lockout, but had conveyed to the board that they would seek a reinstatement of that payment in future years. With SLC's annual earnings expected to be significantly higher in 2014 than it was last year, the players have now made good on that declaration.

Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya is a key figure in the negotiations between parties, having been the mediator that ended last year's standoff. This year, the players had given Jayasuriya a letter detailing their requirements from the fresh contracts, before leaving for Bangladesh in late January.  It had been Jayasuriya's assurance to the players that ICC event fees may be reintroduced in coming years, that persuaded the players to sign in 2013.  

"I could not hand over the letter to SLC but I very clearly informed all officials and CEO Ashley de Silva of the players' wishes," Jayasuriya told Daily Mirror, adding that he had agreed to facilitate dialogue between the players and the board once more.

Jayasuriya had been among the group of players that had initially campaigned for SLC's ICC events income to be shared with players in 2003, and as such has been sympathetic to the players' demands. Most international boards pay the players either a portion of their income from global events or a fraction of their overall income, in order to compensate players for the use of their images, which are used to promote the tournament. Players are largely unable to secure corporate sponsorship for the duration of ICC events.

"After all SLC gets all that income because of the cricket the players play," Jayasuriya said.

Opposition to reintroducing the ICC events payment to players is led by secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, who had been central to removing that sum from players' contracts last year. Ranatunga has had a frosty relationship with some senior players over the past year, due in small part to his role in 2013's contracts standoff.

"The players in the top category of contracts will earn more than 55 million rupees [approx. US $425,000] within the next year on contract fee and match fee alone," Ranatunga said. "If that is not enough, I believe they should pursue something else than playing cricket. In addition to the contract and match fees mentioned above, they also get prize money and winning bonuses.

"We are also paying their insurance, we look after their practice and training facilities and infrastructure, we provide them coaches, physiotherapists, trainers, masseurs. We have also given them a performance-based pay increase, which came to 7% this year.

"Even the last time, the executive committee was not in favour of the demand by players. Last year we have paid 58% of SLC income to the players. So, it is obviously very difficult to consider such a payment."

Several members of the SLC executive committee, including president Jayantha Dharmadasa, are believed to be more sympathetic to the players' concerns, particularly given less than 15% of the board's 2014 expenditure is expected to be consumed by player payments, as the contracts presently stand. Dharmadasa had been similarly sensitive to players' interests in his previous presidency, from 2005 to 2007.

Dharmadasa, Ranatunga, Jayasuriya and de Silva all flew to Bangladesh on Thursday. They are ostensibly in the country to view the Asia Cup final on Saturday, but some dialogue is believed to have begun on resolving the impasse.

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

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

Great win today SL let team India watching Asian final on tv lol. 58% of income went to players, there are definitely paid to represent the team why should there be more monies for specific events?

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

damn! why its just 10ovrs for 1baller. can't they make it 20.atleast for today

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 8, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

Lol ramansilva I think Sl has never won a big tournament after 1996 wc for eg 20 20 wc champ trophy how they would have won on neutral venue is only god knows

Posted by Naked_Cricket on (March 8, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

Jayasuriya is the cancer Now that jumping here and there. If ICC pay something players why SLC worries about that and try cut that out. Remember After 37/38 age all those players retire and after that they deceive a respectful life .Even some players didn't play until 30 . What they done for 25/30 years should not be wasted. Remember somebody can do there do own business / coaching or what ever they capable , but there might me at least one person don't know what to do for living after cricket. Jayasuriya, Ranathunga or SLC will not look after cricketers after they fail or retires.

Posted by NextSana on (March 8, 2014, 6:26 GMT)

Players deserve more money that this. They are the one who generate income and we come to see them and we watch they play. Sri lankan cricket board is one of the most corrupted organizations ever. I remember how they cheaply gave away TV rights to SL president's son's channel "CSN" We lost about 3000 million rupees from just that one deal.

Posted by NP_NY on (March 8, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

Pathetic state of affairs. This is why SLC is so dependent on BCCI and this is why the SL cricketers want to play in the IPL. BCCI may not be a fair board as far as other boards are concerned but at least it takes care of its players.

Posted by Ramansilva on (March 8, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

@anoopshameed, I would like to correct wapuser's statement. Sri Lanka could have win the last worldcup if it was held in a neutral venue and free of political meddling.

Posted by DocBindra on (March 8, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

Time for a handout again from BCCI? You know, that horrible board which people look up to when they NEED something.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

Sana, let them to play their final.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

This is why we can't win finals. Players come to the final showing what they are capable of. But fail in the final hurdle because they don't have that extra will with all these things happening in SLC

Posted by sachin_equal_to_bradman on (March 8, 2014, 1:53 GMT)

@wapuser: What does money here do with sports??? Does money directly related with sport??? If u r telling so then there is no point in talking with u!! Take USAIN BOLT for an example. Is that guy's country(No disrespect) better than america?? Then why can't americans beat bolt??Infact SL and India have more population than JAMAICA ..Then why can't we beat him!!! Please be logical!!!You mean does million people everyone take cricket as sports in india??? Are all indians taking cricket as career?? If there are small pool of people(SL) then its easy to identify talents rather than having millions of people where hidden talents are!!!

Posted by Litmus on (March 8, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

I'm with ranatunga in this issue. SLcricket needs lot of infrastructure and player development. Yes SLC earns all that money because of players performance, then players should earn performance based bonuses on top of the salary and perks. Players are certainly not entitled to quarter of ICC event income. That should go directly to clubs and schools who does the hard work training quality players FREE of charge! Sri Lanka is not YET blessed with large private sector to support clubs and school cricket programs as much as in other countries.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 8, 2014, 0:14 GMT)

This is the true reality of Sri Lankan cricket. Their board is unable to even pay their cricketers who are working very hard to bring laurels to the country. Looking from the outside, I can't see much difference between Zimbabwe and SL except that the SL team wins games of cricket. Shame on SLC. And coming to think of it, these clowns wanted to oppose the Big 3. What a joke !

Posted by wazza85 on (March 8, 2014, 0:06 GMT)

Thats's it SL is not wining the finals today.

Posted by Dhushan on (March 7, 2014, 23:35 GMT)

@scarrule: I think you might be an Indian fan, but I'm not sure. Either way, please read the article properly before typing comments which don't make sense. Unlike you've said, it's not that SLC doesn't have money to pay the players. SLC doesn't want to pay them a share of the income from ICC events. It's a different issue, but you wouldn't know, unless you read the article properly. I'm Sri Lankan, & while you're making requests telling us not to criticise India, can you also stop doing the same thing?

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

BCCI is not behind all problems in the cricketing world ... for a change it's SLC now.

Posted by SL_Boy on (March 7, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

if Ranathunga can't handle he should find some thing else ... may be his own business ... this is SL cricket

by the way i really like this picture ... Sanga & Mahela say i'm not agree, Candi say's what ever

Posted by SL_Boy on (March 7, 2014, 20:20 GMT)

if Ranathunga can't handle he should find some thing else ... may be his own business ... this is SL cricket

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

well done cricinfo

Posted by i_amVIVA on (March 7, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

Winning championships is a national pride. Players are the one doing the job, thereby, making possible to earn those ICC money indirectly. The board should be sympathetic to the requirements of the players, especially SL, now that they are at the top of their game. These players have a short span of professional life compare to other arena. Also the players should look at the administration that they are doing so much for their cricket in the first place with those earnings, e.g. players insurance, facilities, coaches' salary, tournaments, etc, etc. So there should be a middle ground where both can have a win win agenda, especially the players, who are the backbone of those huge earning by this little island country SL.

Posted by anoopshameed on (March 7, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

@wapuser, of course there can be so many if's and but's mate-but Sri Lanka did not win the last World T20 which was held there!

Posted by wapuser on (March 7, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

@scarrule, Sri Lanka does have very little population compare to India with similer social economic background. Sri Lankans are proud about there cricket team because they out perform their big neighbours with a very small talent pool and money. Mean while India hasn't been doing well with over billion supporters and huge amount of money. Sri Lanka could have won the last world cup if it was played in SL.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

There are two sides to this story. The health of the SLC boards finances is key. If the board is struggling financially I can understand their position. However if they are looking good then why not pay their players better.

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 7, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

I am with the players all the way as it is THEY who generate the income for the board.what the administrators forget is that these players only earn this money for a short period of time and the lower tier players are also nowhere near this salray quoted..

Posted by SLslider on (March 7, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

The picture sums up the situation.

Posted by MaxG9 on (March 7, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

The fans come to see the players. Administrators should be very mindful of this & build up, morale & trust between players & the Board including creating a favorable environment in which new talent could be identified & groomed. School cricket structures should also be looked at carefully & the club system has to be over hauled.

I don't see any of this happening in any meaningful & systematic way. Instead we have a politically influenced Board with many inept & inefficient administrators, wasteful expenditure, bloated staff numbers & massive infrastructure expenditure which has left the Board grasping for money.

Cricket is the ONLY sport where SL play & compete well on the World stage at present.

Therefore administrators should do everything in their power to keep the levels of cricket in the Country high & not just feather their nests. Otherwise fans will desert the game.

Posted by Rizwanodayar on (March 7, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

Ranathunga talk like politician, those things he said to doing is duty of a cricket board but he talk it as service they are doing. Most of the board doing more then what he mentioned, that they are doing and also pay the players their due share. Sri Lanka is a country which has high success it international arena there for the board earn higher amount of cash and players should received fair share of it.

Posted by kovinbuddi on (March 7, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

SLC Board should be very careful in handling players issues.Our cricket shines because of dedicated players.So why the SLC can not share some percentage with the players.Nishantha Ranathunga is riding on other peoples petrol. I learnt that he has become the chairman of Mihin Lanka.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (March 7, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

No more debates. Focus should be on Asia Cup Final and WT20.

Posted by scarrule on (March 7, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

Such a pity, there fans claim to be best in asia and their board don't have enough to pay their players. Request to sl fans instead of criticising india on evry forum better pay some attention to your team that might bring some revenue.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Andrew Fidel FernandoClose
Country Fixtures Country Results
1st ODI: Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS)
Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 local | 09:00 GMT | 04:00 EST | 03:00 CST | 01:00 PST)
2nd ODI: Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (RPS)
Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 23:30 EST | 22:30 CST | 20:30 PST)
Group B: Bloomfield v SLPACC at Colombo (Bloomfield)
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Group A: Col CC v Ragama at Colombo (CCC)
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Group B: Colts v Moors at Colombo (Colts)
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Group B: Nondescripts v SL Air SC at Colombo (NCC)
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Group A: Sinhalese v Saracens at Colombo (SSC)
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Group A: SL Army v Tamil Union at Panagoda
Dec 1, 2014 (09:45 local | 04:15 GMT | 23:15 EST | 22:15 CST | 20:15 PST)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days