SL Players Sign New Contracts After Being Asked to Vacate Team Hotel
Annual contracts have finally been signed by the Sri Lankan squad scheduled to play in the white-ball series versus India beginning on 18 July. The decision by the team to sign the contracts came after nearly two months of haggling over pay cuts, after SLC had set them an 8 July deadline.
In an announcement on Twitter, SLC has been reported as saying, “Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that 29 players, out of the 30 members nominated by the Cricket Selectors to be considered for the White-Ball Series against India, have signed the Tour Contracts.”
Players Given Ultimatum
On 6 July, the Sri Lankan squad that returned from the tour of England were in danger of being dropped ahead of the series versus India if they failed to sign the contracts. According to knowledgeable sources, SLC gave the players a choice of either signing the contracts or leaving Colombo’s Taj Samudra Hotel where they were housed, by the morning of 7 July.
“Players were told in no uncertain terms that they should accept the new terms or leave the team hotel by Wednesday morning. They have signed the contracts and the pay dispute is now over.”
SLC Proposes 40 Percent Reduction in Pay
Sri Lanka cricket was rocked by the new annual contracts announced two months ago by SLC. The new contracts included a proposed 40% pay reduction that the players were reportedly unhappy with. According to the new annual contracts, wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella and all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva would each receive USD 100,000, the highest pay cheques among the players.
Karunaratne, Mathews Not Offered Contracts
Remarkably, SLC has chosen to ignore former skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and experienced all-rounder Angelo Mathews while drafting the new annual contracts. SLC has informed both players that it would pay them whenever they appeared in Test matches. The decision has reportedly stunned Karunaratne. On the other hand, Matthew said that he would retire from cricket rather than accept the new terms.
SL Squad Returning from England in Isolation
After seven England team members reportedly tested positive for Covid-19, the Sri Lankan squad who have returned from England are currently fulfilling quarantine requirements. Every player has had to undergo an RT-PCR test.
Indian Squad Readying to Play
By contrast, the Indian team who have already fulfilled their compulsory seven-day isolation period have begun to train. India and Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and three T20Is in the upcoming white-ball series. All matches will be held at Columbo’s Premadasa Stadium. The Indian squad announced by the BCCI consists of the following players: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Rahul Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, K Gowtham, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya, Deepak Chahar.
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