Sri Lankan cricket currently finds itself in a mess both on and off the field. If the latest reports by Sri Lankan newspaper Daily FT are to be believed, then the selectors could pick a second-string squad for the upcoming limited-overs series against India because of contract disputes.
Sri Lankan players are yet to accept their annual contracts. The board has indicated that if the players cannot comply by signing at least ‘tour contracts’, then they will go ahead and pick a much-changed side for the India series.
The Sri Lankan players are currently in England, where they went after signing just ‘voluntary declaration forms’.
The board and players were expected to come to a common consensus by the time the England series ended. However, both parties have not yet arrived at any agreement. The Sri Lankan cricket board has suggested that they will not accept voluntary declaration forms and that players will have to sign a tour contract to be eligible for selection for the India series.
“The Executive Committee on the advice of the Technical and Advisory Committee will have to decide whether the players will have to sign a tour contract. Probably that is the only option left because we are not going ahead with voluntary declaration forms anymore. We will not want to go ahead with any voluntary declaration forms in the future. It was the first time a team had left overseas signing such a document,” said SLC CEO Ashley de Silva.
On the field, Kusal Perera and his team will look to avoid a whitewash in the ODI series against England. They take on Eoin Morgan and his men in the third and final ODI today. The Lankans have already lost the T20I series 3-0.
Five Sri Lankan players, including Vishwa Fernando & Lasith Embuldeniya, ruled out of the India series
Five players have already been ruled out of the India series as the likes of Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara and Kasun Rajitha have refused to sign tour contracts, confirmed the Sri Lankan cricket CEO a few days back. As a result, the players didn’t join the bio-bubble cum residential camp in Colombo or Dambulla.
The current annual contract offered by the board rewards players based on their fitness standards and on-field performances. However, the players are not keen to buy into the new model as lawyers representing the cricketers claim they (players) are “not in agreement to sign unfair and non-transparent contracts.”