Aravinda de Silva, head of SLC’s Technical Advisory Committee, has defended the contracts offered by the board and has claimed that the players must prioritize winning matches, rather than ‘complaining’. The SL players are currently at loggerheads with the board due to disagreement over contracts.
Controversy erupted earlier this month when Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the new contract scheme, which saw the board give 50% weightage to performance since 2019, 20% to player fitness, and 10% each to leadership, professionalism, and future potential and adaptability. Only two players - Dhananjaya de Silva Niroshan Dickwella - were placed in the highest category ($100,000) and the demotion given to several seniors left the players unhappy, with everyone protesting against the proposal, refusing to agree to the same.
The issue is still ongoing, but Aravinda de Silva, head of SLC’s Technical Advisory Committee, is of the opinion that the proposal is ‘fair’. De Silva has slammed the players for complaining and has asserted that they must instead focus on winning games of cricket.
"The most important fact is that they should get into the middle and play positive cricket and start winning games for the country rather than complaining," de Silva said, reported Cricinfo.
"This positive approach will encourage us to consider offering them more benefits, like some of the other countries in our region. If the team creates value, their incentives will also go up."
De Silva has also claimed that the contract rewards the players owing to ‘benefits being increased three-fold’. This is, however, partially true as the three-fold increase in incentive is only available if Sri Lanka defeats the No. 1 Test team in a series.
"We discussed this matter in depth before we presented it to the players. Unlike in the past, we have increased the benefits three-fold than what it was but purely on the team's performance… If they win a Test series, we pay them US$ 150,000 which was earlier limited to US$ 50,000. It has to be a collective effort by the whole team,” de Silva said.
As things stand, the players have a June 3 deadline to sign the contracts. Should they not sign the contracts, the board will then be expected to hand the players a ‘tour contract’ for the limited-overs series against England, which is the Lankan side’s next assignment.