x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pay dispute threatens Sri Lanka Test series with Bangladesh as players refuse to sign new deal

Sri Lanka's 23 centrally contracted players have refused to sign new deals ahead ahead of this week's opening Test - with officials warning they may pick an entirely new team as a result.

Members of the Sri lanka cricket team after their T20 World Cup final loss to the West Indies.
Members of the Sri lanka cricket team after their T20 World Cup final loss to the West Indies.

A pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 23 centrally contracted players could disrupt their two-test series against Bangladesh, which is due to start this week.

The players, whose contracts expired at the end of February, have told Sri Lanka Cricket officials they would not sign new ones before yesterday's deadline

"We have clearly explained to the players that we are willing to pay them 67 per cent of our total revenue," said Nishantha Ranatunga, secretary of the SLC.

"We told them that unless they sign the contracts they would not be selected to play in the series against Bangladesh."

A similar pay dispute threatened to derail last year's Sri Lanka Premier League after players said they would pull out of the tournament.

Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Sri Lanka's sports minister, delivered an ultimatum to the players and said the SLC would select a whole new team if they did not sign the contracts.

"The players are demanding 75 per cent of the total revenue and if that is to be paid Sri Lanka Cricket will have to obtain a loan of 600 million rupees (Dh17.22)," Aluthgamage said.

"I have asked Sri Lanka Cricket to give the players time till Sunday for them to make up their mind, if they still refuse I have told them to go ahead and pick a new team and play the series."

Ken de Alwis, secretary of the Sri Lanka Players Association, said senior players would meet the officials later today to discuss the matter.

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