Move to silence Sri Lankan players fails
Central contracts to be signed later this week
By Gavin Van Hoff | July 18, 2012
An attempt to include a clause in the new central contracts, which would have required Sri Lanka's cricketers to seek approval from the cricket board prior to speaking with the media, has failed.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had hoped to introduce new restrictions on players but the move has been rejected and was thrown out of the final contract.
Players however will be subjected to a disciplinary hearing if they make comments critical of SLC.
The new contracts are for the period between March 2012 to February 2013.
In May, it was reported that contracted Sri Lankan cricketers would need to seek permission from the cricket board's CEO Ajit Jayasekara prior to speaking with the media and that the new restrictions would be included in this year's central contracts. Jayasekara, according to ESPNCricinfo, had notified all contracted players of the new restrictions via an official letter drafted with the help of SLC's lawyer and access to interviews with players by the media were drastically reduced in the following months.
After months of negotiations, the deadlock between the players and SLC over terms in the contract came to an end on Tuesday.
During the launch of the Sri Lanka Premier League tournament earlier this week, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene told reporters that the players "will only sign SLPL contracts once the central contracts of Sri Lanka players are settled."
The primary bone of contention surrounding the contract dispute has been ICC fees, Island Cricket learns. Cricket board officials felt that part of the 25-percent earned by the players from the ICC's fees should be retained by the board. It was suggested that the players' ICC fees be reduced to 20-percent from 25-percent. The proposal was turned down by the players.
"The cricketers have bent over backwards to help SLC," a source close to the players revealed to Island Cricket.
"They have agreed to yet another wage freeze and this year they also gave SLC some of their image rights fees for ICC events by accepting an SLC proposal that they deduct their ICC annual registration fees from the total pot before allocating the players their 25-percent."
The new central contracts are likely to be signed later this week.
Sri Lanka's players, who remained without wages through much of last year, are still owed wages by the board from March this year.
© Island Cricket