SL contracts decision likely on Thursday
Sri Lanka Cricket is likely to deliver its final decision on the current contracts dispute with the players on Thursday after the two parties met for discussions on Wednesday, an official board release has said. The 2014 contracts have gone unsigned for 12 days, as the cricketers await a response on their demand for SLC to share 20% of the ICC events fee with the players.
"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that the office bearers of SLC met with the national team players today and had a discussion with regard to the player contract payments," the release said. "The players expressed their concerns and the office bearers stated their point of view on the subject, and there was an exchange of views between both parties. The office bearers will communicate the views exchanged at the meeting to the members of the executive committee tomorrow for a final decision."
Most of the 17 players offered contracts were present at the meeting, including captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, as well as seniors Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara. The board officials present included secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, CEO Ashley de Silva and vice-president Mohan de Silva. Board president Jayantha Dharmadasa was absent.
Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya had been expected to mediate discussions between the parties, after the players had made their initial demand for more funds through him, but he was also absent. Earlier in the week, Jayasuriya had said he felt the players should receive some of the disputed funds, arguing that cricketers have limited years in which they earn.
"Exactly what that compensation is, is up to the board," Jayasuriya had said. "I can't promise anything because I don't make that decision."
Last year's contracts dispute had led to the players being locked out by the board, but with the team set to leave for the World T20 on Sunday, 2014's discussions are less likely to escalate to a crisis.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here