Sri Lanka’s legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan broke his silence on the long-standing central contracts dispute between the players and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Several Sri Lankan cricketers refused to sign the SLC contract because of a pay dispute and transparency issues, although, despite these issues, players agreed to play against England on tour contract.
However, over 30 players have recently signed the new contracts for the upcoming limited-overs series against India at home starting on July 18.
As the deadline given by SLC to sign the contract passed now, several senior stars like Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera are without the contracts, refusing to sign the annual contracts citing that the board’s decision of implementing a new grading system to determine their annual paychecks, lacked transparency, as well as, due to differences in pay.
Reacting to the dispute over central contracts, Muralitharan slammed the senior players over their involvement in the contract disputes, saying they mainly rejected the SLC offers because senior cricketers will get less pay under the new performance-based system.
The 49-year-old, the highest wicket-taker in both formats of the game, further suggested the SLC should go with the tour contracts while saying whoever didn’t sign the contract will not get central contracts.
Muralitharan told Hiru TV: “This year we think they don’t need a central contract, we can go with tour contracts.”
He also believes that the senior cricketers did not allow the junior cricketers to sign the contracts because of their pay cut. It is being said that some players later agreed to sign the central contracts after transparency details were revealed, but SLC offered them only tour contracts.
Now, the Sri Lankan players will not be paid on monthly basis anymore under the new system, making the Test players the worst affected as they have no tours scheduled until November.
(With PTI Inputs)