- Lack of transparency by SLC Management Committee
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Attorney-at-Law Nishan Sydney Premathiratne
A certain lack of transparency by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Management Committee has led to a temporary standstill on negotiations on the new player contracts drawn up in consultation with the Cricket Advisory Committee headed by Aravinda de Silva.
Principally the players are in agreement to the performance based model but what they are asking from the SLC Cricket Management Committee is for the points system adopted in ranking them. Points which are allotted to a certain player for performance, for fitness, for leadership, for professionalism etc. they are not being disclosed by the Management Committee.
The new player contract is not only affecting the senior players but all categories of players. Certain players like Danushka Gunathilaka for example, he has performed very well and he is at the bottom of the pile. Then someone like Lahiru Kumara who has played only two matches has come up, so where is the performance? Pathum Nissanka everyone is saying he is a very talented batsman but he has played only two matches. He also has got a very high contract, compared to somebody like Dinesh Chandimal.
Certain players because they are in the ages of 33 and 34 have been discarded from certain formats. But if they have performed they have to be recognised, not undermined. For instance players like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Mike Hussey, and Sanath Jayasuriya all of them scored the bulk of their runs towards the end of their career. By earmarking the players for no reason and side-lining them is unfair. This would create further disharmony when it is not transparent.
SLC Management Committee Chairman Prof. Arjuna de Silva in his initial media conference after assuming office said: “We have not come here to look for mistakes of other people and to oppose anyone but work with transparency, and if there are any shortcomings to address them. We will only administer the affairs of SLC.”
Attorney-at-Law Nishan Sydney Premathiratne who represents the players in the SLC contract negotiations when contacted informed: “Presently, the contract negotiations have not been finalised. Senior and junior players are all equally affected by this new formula and the basis as to how a player’s standing is assessed has not been disclosed to any player.
“Some players who have performed well over a period of time and passed fitness are unreasonably affected. The position that only seniors are affected is not correct. On behalf of all the players it has been requested that full transparency is afforded in respect of the point allocation effected on performance, fitness, leadership, professionalism etc. SLC is yet to disclose this information to the players.
“Each individual player very correctly believes that they are entitled to a disclosure on the points allotted which categorised their ranking. The players believe that the spirit of this new performance based model will only be fulfilled if full transparency is afforded. Transparency would also create unity and harmony. All players are in unison seeking for this information.
“Transparency is also paramount so that the players also know how they were assessed and what weaknesses they need to address. As it stands now negotiations and contract formalisation is on a temporary standstill until this information is released. The players have urged SLC to release this information at the earliest. A few other contractual matters are also to be formalised which have been communicated to SLC.”
Premathiratne pointed out further: “In respect of the basis of the overall pay cut to the players, SLC has intimated that such is owing to the reduction in overall revenue to SLC which derives primarily from TV rights and types of branding and image rights of players. This reduction in earnings is represented as a direct result of the performance of the Sri Lanka team during the last period in consideration. The ICC also has an allocation of a significant payment for their respective cricketing boards.
“These figures are also forecasted for the coming years. To-date the ICC has not intimated any such reduction (as per FICA: Federation of International Cricketers Association) which confirms that there has not been any ICC forecasted reductions. In most cricketing nations, players are allotted a certain percentage from the respective Board’s earnings (as per FICA), and such disclosures are made to the players, and the respective player association.
“However there is no such setup here in Sri Lanka and neither are the Sri Lankan players asking for such a setup. However, the players and the administration of cricket are all part of one team with one objective of uplifting overall cricket in Sri Lanka. Thus, pay cuts and pay enhancements, when being applied, should be done to all parties concerned, in a uniform manner, as seen in other global jurisdictions.”