Sri Lanka Cricket is set to introduce annual contracts for close to 70 cricketers, across the youth, emerging and senior categories, in a bid to encourage them to press for places in the Sri Lanka team. The new contract system does not include the current national players already contracted with the board.
SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said that the new contract system will cover the period between November 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, after which the cricketers could play in any part of the world. Under this system, the cricketers will be paid between SL Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 per month ($170 – $680).
“There are so many categories of players who are playing cricket so we must look after them,” Sumathipala said. “We don’t want the players who have not played for Sri Lanka to be idling in club cricket but to start putting pressure on the national players and make every effort to play for the country as well as their clubs.
“We have decided to look after these cricketers and put them on a national contract. We met about 70 players last Saturday and gave them a proposed agreement and we are informing our member clubs that if there are anybody whom they feel are worthy of contract to inform us.
“We will sign the contracts on October 30. The contract lasts from November 1 to April 30. After that date the cricketers are free to play in any part of the world. We want to see that our domestic [structure] is stronger and protected and give the players something they can be happy about. Apart from the national players we are also looking after the other players as well.”
The board also announced that it had suspended financial grants for nine member clubs and associations, including Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club and Badureliya Cricket Club, for a variety of administrative faults, including the failure to submit an audit report. Both Bloomfield and Badureliya CC are prominent domestic teams that participate in the Premier League tournaments. The other associations are: Southern Province Cricket Association, Negombo Cricket Club, Matara District Cricket Association, Puttalam District Cricket Association, Kollupitiya Sports Club, Nomads Sports Club and Peterson Lane Sports Club. Sumathipala clarified that the teams could continue participating in SLC-conducted tournaments.
“From the month of January we have informed the clubs and associations to have their audit reports and to hold their AGM in time,” Sumathipala said. “They have not complied with our request so we have to suspend funding them.
“We are not funding any money until they rectify their administration. But for the sake of cricket they will be allowed to play in SLC-conducted tournaments. Until they get their accounts up and running and they submit the audit reports the SLC has decided not to grant them any money.” (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)