Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has given a strict deadline – 20th October 2016 to its national cricketers to sign the new annual contracts which are mainly based on performance-bonuses.
If the cricketers fail to sign the contracts, the thought of sending a depleted squad to Zimbabwe for the two-match Test series and the Tri-series involving West Indies have also crossed the minds of the top administrators at SLC but they are hopeful that the players will sign the contracts tomorrow (20th October).
The national team is expected to leave on 24th night but the 15-man squad is yet to be announced due to this crisis between the players and the cricket administrators. A similar dispute also took place in 2014 between the players and the Board after SLC denied a reasonable share of ICC and ACC events.
Several meetings took place at SLC yesterday (18th) and today (19th) between the administrators and the senior players to end this dispute but according to reliable sources, some of the players are still demanding an increase in their contract fees. SLC are yet to announce the final 30 contracted players according to their category as well.
During the earlier contracts in 2015/16, a player in the top category received a contract fee of US $165,000, category 2 players were granted US $100,000, category 3 players were paid US $70,000 each and US $40,000 in category 4 in addition to the regular match fees, 10 percent share from the ICC & ACC events and a certain percentage from the team sponsors.
The new contract sees a considerable cut in players’ annual contract fees although they have been presented significant win bonuses and individual performance bonuses. Thus, a player in the top category will now receive a reduced annual contract fee of US$ 125,000 and in category 2; a player will receive US $ 80,000 while the annual contract fee for category 3 has been set at US $ 60,000. A category 4 player will collect an annual fee of US $ 40,000 and US $ 20,000 per cricketer who is in category 5.
Another significant change in the new contract is the match fee paid to a national cricketer; a player will receive only US$ 5,000 per Test as opposed to the earlier US$ 7,500. This amount will be increased to US$ 10,000, if the team manages to win a Test. For every five-wicket haul and a century in a Test match will earn them an additional US$ 5,000.
The ODI and T20I match fees are unchanged, US$ 3,000 and US$ 2,000 respectively but the board has offered US$ 5,000 for every century scored in a limited over match and a five-wicket haul taken to improve the performances of the players in the national team. In T20I’s, a century or a five-wicket haul will procure them US$ 7,500.