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Contract crisis for Sri Lanka
India's tour of Sri Lanka could be hit by the host's contract battle.
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2008 12:59 GMT

 
 


Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis delivers a ball during The Asia Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at The National Cricket Stadium in Karachi [AFP]

A protracted contract dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its players has reached boiling point just weeks before India are due to tour there.

Sri Lanka players, who have returned home from Karachi after winning the Asia Cup, have not been paid since February and have requested an emergency board meeting this week.

"We did not even see a first draft of the new contract until seven weeks after our last contract lapsed," an unnamed Sri Lanka player said.

"We have waited patiently for weeks, we have even played on despite being unpaid, but we are now fed-up and need this resolved fast."

Senior cricketers agreed to a freeze in their central contract fees this year, but demanded junior members of the national squad and the A team get substantial wage increases.

Last year, junior players received $15,000 a year as a retainer, the lowest annual contract fees of all test playing nations.

The board, headed by World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, have been accused of dragging their feet during discussions with the Sri Lanka Cricketer's Association.

Ranatunga has refused any increment on match fees, also believed to be the lowest among test nations, proposing instead that players be fined if they lose a test match.

Other stumbling blocks include player image rights clauses, a demand that cricketers cancel lucrative media contracts and a proposed changed in contract dates due to negotiation delays.

Sri Lanka Cricket's Chief Executive Duleep Mendis insisted that there was no cause for alarm with the India test series due to start on July 23.

"There are a few differences between the players and the board but we should come to an agreement by next week," Mendis told English newspaper the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Source:
Agencies
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