Five overseas players still awaiting SLPL payments

Five overseas players who played for the Basnahira Cricket Dundee franchise in the Sri Lanka Premier League are still awaiting payment for the tournament that ended on August 31. SLC and Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) confirmed that Rilee Russouw has not received any of the payment owed to him, Charl Langeveldt has only received 25% and Dirk Nannes, Cameron Borgas and Daniel Smith are still awaiting 50% of their payment. In September, tournament co-organiser Somerset Entertainment Ventures had told ESPNcricinfo that all players had been paid in full.

FICA CEO Tim May said both his organisation and the players had endured a “series of broken promises” from Basnahira Cricket Dundee since the end of the tournament, and that FICA would consider taking legal action if the matter was not resolved by the end of the week. He also said that SLC had ignored repeated emails from FICA over the past three weeks, and were “failing in their obligations” to the players.

“We’ve tried to work with the SLC on this, but all of our correspondence remain unanswered,” he said. “I wrote to the SLC president but they’ve essentially gone into radio silence.”

May said, however, that the players’ association in Sri Lanka had been in contact with the SLC over the issue. SLC president Upali Dharmadasa cited the World Twenty20 that concluded on October 8 as the reason he had not yet responded to FICA, but said SLC would make a reply next week.

SLC CEO Ajit Jayasekara said SLC had been aware the players hadn’t been paid, and had written to the franchise urging them to make the payments. “We are very concerned about this, because it doesn’t look good for the SLPL,” he said.

The SLPL was the first tournament for which FICA had insisted that player contracts contain a clause requiring franchises to provide a bank guarantee for the full amount of player payments. The bank guarantees could be invoked seven business days after a defaulted pay day, and the outstanding payment would then be credited to the player’s account.

However, SLC has not provided evidence to FICA that these bank guarantees were ever obtained. In September, SEV CEO Sandiip Bhammer said franchises had instead procured pay orders for the full amount of player payments, which he said was a more powerful failsafe for players than bank guarantees, which were too complicated to obtain. However, with five players still owed money, either this failsafe was not activated, or it was not provided at all.

May said according to the player contracts which are valid for three seasons, SLC must provide proof of bank guarantees at least 182 days before the next season of the SLPL. FICA has already said that it would advise players to boycott the SLPL if proof of these bank guarantees was not provided in a form agreeable to FICA.

The Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association was unreachable for comment. (Cricinfo)