Move to silence Sri Lankan players fails

Central contracts to be signed later this week
By Gavin Van Hoff | July 18, 2012

Cricketers reject move to gag them.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.

Related:

Cash-stricken Sri Lanka Cricket in more debt to settle past-due player wages

Pay delay and bad governance reason for Sri Lankan slide, says Rameez Raja

More strife for Sri Lanka Cricket

© Island Cricket

Comments

Ajit Jayasekera's picture

Your comments "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" are from an ESPN article which was not factually correct.

Furthermore, I did not write to the players nor did SLC attempt to include such a clause in the player contract.

Ajit Jayasekera.

Gavin's picture
Member since:
27 November 2009
Last activity:
2 weeks 9 hours

This is the report I have referred to:
http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/con...

"Sri Lanka Cricket is set to tighten up on players' interaction with the media. From now on, Sri Lanka players will have to obtain prior permission from SLC CEO Ajith Jayasekera before speaking with any media personnel. A letter to this effect is to be drafted by Jayasekera, in consultation with SLC lawyer Harsha Amarasekera, and sent to all the contracted players.

"A spokesman for SLC said that this regulation may also be included as a clause in the players' contracts. The players are expected to sign their new contracts before the start of the series against Pakistan, which begins on June 1."

According to Sa'adi Thawfeeq's article a "spokesman for SLC said that this regulation may also be included as a clause in the players' contracts."

You should contact Mr. Thawfeeq and ask him who this SLC spokesman is.

Anonymous's picture

truthfully speaking cricinfo is more credible than slc

Neil Weerasekara's picture
Member since:
10 July 2011
Last activity:
3 weeks 6 days

Just glad it is all sorted out now.

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
2 min 6 sec

Thank you Mr. Jayasekara (if comment #1 was indeed from the SLC CEO) for taking the time to clarify and present your views.

Ajit Jayasekera's picture

Mr Hilal, yes, it was me indeed - for verification, you may note that the hotmail address I used has the same username as my gmail address that you know.

I was quite disturbed when the original article appeared on Cricinfo, which was written after I tried to arrange a day for ALL journalists to interview the Coach separately at one location, instead of allowing individual journalists to have 'exclusive' interviews, due to time constraints during a busy tour. The writer was piqued by this arrangement and concocted the story, hence the reason for my calling it factually incorrect.

To be quoted from such an article was, I thought, very unfair and I decided to write a comment, something I do not normally do.

Sorry if I ruffled feathers, but I shall not comment any more.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Ajit Jayasekera.

Anonymous's picture

Ajit are you saying players and officials do not need advance permission from board to speak with media?

Ajit Jayasekera's picture

Players do not need to have permission to speak to the media.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks. Then what about coaching staff? Do they need clearance from board?

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