Players speaks out on SLC – IPL conundrum

Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments against the players’ sports agents, and his suggestion that the SLC will eventually be the sole representative of all national players has not gone down too well with the players. Secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers Association (SLCA) Graeme Labrooy termed this move as a direct intervening by the SLC on the players’ fundamental rights.

“It is the choice of the individual players to ascertain as to who is to be his manager. Managers for various sportsmen have been around for well over the past four decades handling various aspects of their careers. Some sportsmen even have their own media managers,” he said. – Sunday Times.

Labrooy stated that the job of the sport’s agent was to market the player and also ensure the player has financial income long after the player’s days as a national sportsman has ended.

“For this, every single sportsman has the right to choose his own manager,” said Labrooy.

In another twist to the story Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara were part of a press conference in which the players spoke out in regards to an article published by the local press. Some quarters in the media claimed the players duped the public and the sports minister in claiming the SLC was aware of their 3 year IPL contracts when they agreed to the tour of England. The SLC claiming no knowledge of a 3 year deal subsequently issued a press statement which claimed the players had only received a 1 year no objection certificate to take part in the inaugural season of the IPL.

"Yes, we were auctioned (with IPL) for three years. We were auctioned at a certain price and every single player who played in the IPL signed a three year contract," said Sangakkara. – PTI

Sangakkara made it clear that the SLC knew of the 3 year contract with the IPL but the players only sought clearance for 2008 as they were only bound by annual contracts with Sri Lanka Cricket.

"The SLC knew that we had signed a three-year contract, but our contract with the SLC are yearly contracts," Sangakkara said on Thursday. "I was very perturbed by what went on in these months as a player. You always try as player to stay away from controversy, to do what is right and to play our cricket in peace," he said. "But there was an article in a newspaper under the heading ‘did the country’s top cricketers dupe the public and the government’. (The article also published the letter written by Jayawardene and the SLC)." "There are certain things that we can ignore and take and even though we worry about it basically (we are) not making any comments. But we may be accused of misleading the public and the government of Sri Lanka. I think it is time to clear that," Sangakkara said. – PTI

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