Amid the ongoing tension between the Sri Lanka cricketers and their national board ober the new annual contract, country’s Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has expressed hope that the dispute will be sorted out ahead of the England tour.
The minister said that issues shouldn’t be related to money and national interest should be the top-most priority for players.
Rajapaksa also said that the national players should at least sign a tour contract to represent Sri Lanka as per the sports law as such things have happened in the past too.
The minister also said the 2014 World Cup squad had suffered similar situation but they participated in the tournament under a tour contract, adding that bowling legend Lasith Malinga had represented the nation for two years under such a contract.
He also expressed hope that the two parties would resolve the dispute soon and praised the players for raising issues as a team and not individuals.
Earlier, the cricketers had refused to sign the new performance-based contracts by a weekend deadline, but had also said that they will participate in the upcoming England tour, scheduled to begin later this month.
A lawyer representing these players has said they did not trust the new contracts, which has been designed by a cricket board panel which includes former Australia cricketer Tom Moody.
“Players refuse to sign annual and tour contracts until the pay dispute is resolved,” lawyer Nishan Premathiratne said in a statement.
Significantly, as paer the new contract, former captain Angelo Mathews and current Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne will suffer the biggest pay cuts among all. While Mathews’ yearly salary fee fell from $130,000 to $80,000, Karunaratne was offered $70,000, which was earlier 100,000.
They players have termed the new pay structure “non-transparent”.