- New player contracts undergoing a few changes
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to extend the present contracts of the national cricketers for a further period of one month till the end of January 2022 as the annual contract that comes up for renewal on 1 January 2022 is undergoing a few changes before it is presented to the players for their signatures.
The present contract was for a period of five months from 1 August to 31 December.
The contract offered initially in May contained a lower base salary and several performance-based incentives which the players unanimously decided against signing, having deemed them “unfair and non-transparent”. Much of their displeasure stemmed from the lack of transparency surrounding the player-assessment model, something which had also seen several senior players receive significant pay cuts.
The contract issue was finally resolved in August with SLC stating: “The players signed the contracts without any deviation from the contracts offered previously”.
“The issue was the players felt that there were certain areas which cannot be measured, but most of the points were given based on the statistics and their performance which was a very good formula,” said SLC CEO Ashley de Silva.
“The players also kind of know that they’ve got to perform if they want to get to the top category, they have been given contracts based on their performance, not on seniority. Seniority was given more weightage earlier, which is not the case now. The selectors looked at the previous years’ performance when they did the contract last year. That was very fair, seniority, they gave points, but more weightage was given towards the performance, which should be the case.”
De Silva said the Technical and Advisory Committee was in the process of formulating a few changes to the contract.
“They will take into consideration what the players’ concerns were last time when it was being formulated, but nothing has been communicated to us so far,” he said.
Technical and Advisory Committee Chairman Aravinda de Silva said: “One or two changes have been discussed and we will finalise it soon. We have prepared the draft and will be sending it to SLC.”
“If there is going to be a change in the formula, the Tech committee would have to share that with the selectors and the selectors will have to nominate it to SLC,” said Ashley de Silva.
“As we cannot sign the new contracts by the first week of January before the commencement of the ODI series against Zimbabwe, we have decided to extend the present contract for a period of one month till end of January by which time we will be able to finalise everything.”
Zimbabwe are due to arrive in Sri Lanka on 10 January and the tentative dates for the three ODIs to be played at Pallekele are 16, 18 and 21 January. The matches will be part of the ICC 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification Super League where the top seven teams plus the host nation India gain automatic qualification.
Sri Lanka, who are currently lying sixth in the standings, will want to improve it further with a clean sweep of the series against Zimbabwe who are lying at the bottom of the table in 13th position.