The Sri Lanka cricketers have finally signed the new central contracts after almost two months of negotiations over their pay scale. The board and players got into a tussle after SLC revealed the new contracts which saw their salaries slashed by up to 40 per cent.
The players were not ready to agree on the salaries which they believe were too less in comparison to what other boards offer to their players. The players, however, didn’t go on strike and signed a temporary contract for the England tour. The tour turned out to be a disaster as Sri Lanka failed to win even a single game.
Their performance left the board fuming and they mandated the players to sign the contract by 8th July else get ready to be dropped for the India series. If reports are to be believed, the players were also asked to leave the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo if they don’t sign the contract. The players finally bowed down and signed the new contracts.
“Players were told in no uncertain terms that they should accept the new terms or leave the team hotel by Wednesday morning. They have signed the contracts and the pay dispute is now over,” a Sri Lanka board source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
However, one player that refused to sign the contract was Angelo Matthews. The all-rounder has asked the SLC to relieve him from national commitments owing to personal reasons. Mathews is certainly not happy with the amount offered to him and hence he conveyed the message to the board officials.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the board would only offer a succession of tour contracts until the end of the year. This was done to penalize the players for their behaviour over new contracts. The decision meant that players such as Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, and Dinesh Chandimal will be left with no deals till at least November.
“I don’t know how there can be unity in the team while all this is going on,” a senior player told ESPNcricinfo. “Some players are being blamed for being the first to sign the tour contracts, and others are defending themselves for doing that.”