Cricketers were treated unfairly, says players' association
Media Release | March 12, 2013
The Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association (SLCA) would like to release the following statement to clarify certain misleading and inaccurate claims made by certain individuals against the Sri Lanka national cricketers in the recent days regarding their annual contract. The SLCA expresses its disappointment at the lack of respect and regard shown to the national cricketers and the damage done to their reputation by such adverse publicity.
Increments in player payments
SLCA are well aware that the national cricketers did not request at any stage for any increment of any fees and payments whatsoever from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) pertaining to their annual contract.
We also state with responsibility that the national cricketers have not requested nor received any increase in their match fees since 2008.
Image rights payment for ICC events
With regard to ambush marketing and image rights compensation for ICC events, SLCA would like to confirm that the national cricketers have been receiving only a percentage of the ICC guarantee fee paid to SLC since the 2003 World Cup for all ICC and Asian Cricket Council tournaments.
A percentage was negotiated from the 2003 World Cup and subsequently the share was increased to 25% for all ICC and Asian Cricket Council tournaments which followed. This was signed as a separate addendum to the contract since 2003 and was incorporated to the main body of the contract in 2009.
Though the players receive only a percentage, the guarantee fee is paid to SLC to compensate players for the use of their images in the promotion of ICC events and their official sponsors. The said percentage is to compensate the player for his loss of income due to the moratorium on competitive individual sponsorships during ICC events.
National team sponsorship
With regard to the 25% share of the national team sponsorship distributed to all contracted players and team officials, this has been a constant part of the national cricketers' contracts since 2004.
This is also paid to compensate players for the use of their own image rights by the national team sponsor.
Flight tickets for a family member
Providing one business class flight ticket per year for a player’s family member has been common practice since it was included in the contracts since 2005.
With regard to current contracts, the players have adequately shown their willingness to be flexible with regard to the above-mentioned contractual benefits. The players were willing furnish a written undertaking to return the guarantee fee due from the Champions Trophy to SLC to be used for development of cricket and for SLC to retain the provisions of the contract pertaining to 25% guarantee fee.
Further, the players in category one of the contract were willing to forego the business class ticket provided to a family member if the SLC would offer the said benefit to the rest of the contracted players. SLCA is aware that the players were not given an opportunity to express the same to SLC.
The SLCA views the fact that the players' consent was not sought by the SLC on the new terms before handing over the final contract as unfair. The SLCA verily believes that the removal or reduction of the above-mentioned long standing benefits from the new contract presented by Sri Lanka Cricket without proper and fair negotiations will have an adverse and unfair effect to all players.
We state further that the national cricketers have at all times been sensitive to the financial constraints of SLC. The same was proven by the fact that the national cricketers proudly represented their country even though they were not paid or offered a contract for close upon 10 months in 2011/2012.
In addition, at the request of SLC, the national players also agreed to receive a significantly reduced share of their entitled percentage of the guarantee fee for the ICC World Twenty 20 in 2012. However, SLCA states that the national cricketers are neither responsible nor should be unfairly penalised for the financial constraints of the SLC.
The SLCA states that the players signed the contracts this year, as they consider it an honour to play for Sri Lanka.
The SLCA has no doubt that the national cricketers will continue to represent Sri Lanka with pride and stay committed to the spirit of the game of cricket.
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