Sri Lankan cricketers have agreed to tour England for the white-ball series this June without signing the new annual contracts amid the ongoing tussle between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the national players over the same.
The cricketers agreed for the white-ball tour of England comprising three T20Is and as many as ODIs from June 18 to July 4 on a tour-specific contract after the SLC promised them to make their evaluation marks public when they return to the country after the UK tour.
The players were asked by the management they would either call off the England tour or send a third-string side after they denied to sign the latest annual contracts unless the SLC explains the evaluation process as they felt a lack of transparency, security, and uneven salaries to the players.
Notably, the Sri Lankan players were given a June 3 deadline to sign the contracts, but they defied the deadline, but are willing to play for the country even if the SLC and the management decided not to pay salaries due to them refusing to sign the contracts.
The players' lawyer Nishan Premathiratne told ESPNcricinfo: “This is the transparency the players had been requesting from the outset. They will play this tour without signing any contract. They have signed a voluntary declaration, but there's nothing there about player remuneration. They have always been committed to playing for Sri Lanka.”
According to the new proposed scheme, performance and fitness are the two key criteria from which the 70 percent score would be determined for the players, while the rest of the 10 percent each for leadership, professionalism, and future potential/adaptability will be count to determine the which category would be given to the cricketers in the latest annual contracts.
The SLC had earlier announced that the 24 leading players were offered central contracts under four categories, but they refused to sign the contracts and now the list increased to 38 players.
In the categories released by the board only six players featured in category A and their annual pay ranges between 70,000 to 100,000 US dollars with Dhananjaya de Silva draws the highest – 100,000 while the rest of them receive 70-80,000 US dollars annually.
Noteworthy, Sri Lanka will leave for England on Tuesday evening (June 8) for the white-ball series starting on June 23 with the first T20I in Cardiff.
(With ANI Inputs)