Lankan cricketers to play without payment in Aussie tri-series
This summer’s tri-series will be played amid a backdrop of a pay dispute which sees Sri Lanka’s players owed as much as $US 5million ($4.71 million) due to a cash crisis within the country’s governing body.
As Mahela Jayawardene’s team battle the world’s top two ODI sides on the field during this month’s tri-series, off the field its players union will be taking on its cash-strapped board in a row which threatens to send cricket in the island nation further into turmoil.
The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations fears the parlous state of Sri Lankan cricket’s finances leaves it at risk of becoming insolvent without a bailout from the government.
The players are seeking to recoup payments owed to them from as far back as a year ago when Sri Lanka made the final of the World Cup, which they co-hosted with India and Bangladesh.
The International Cricket Council intervened in December when they bypassed the board and facilitated a direct $US2 million payout to Sri Lanka’s players.
The players are still owed a further $2.3 million from the World Cup, plus money from outstanding payments for matches against England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa in the past eight months.
The general secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association, Ken de Alwis, said Sri Lanka’s players earned $5000 in match fees for ODIs, which means the board faces payments of at least $480,000 plus awards and prizemoney from their current tour of Australia.
With the visitors due to play a minimum of eight matches, the board’s wage bill will blow out to $5 million, which the SLCA wants paid before the players’ contracts expire at the end of the month.
As the visiting team, Sri Lanka are not entitled to a share of revenue raised from TV rights or ticket sales, but have their costs covered by Cricket Australia.
Despite the uncertainty hovering over Sri Lankan cricket, the players continue to pad up as they put the honour of playing for their country above their financial worries.
‘‘The newly elected committee is trying to sort things out, it eventually will happen. Until then, we just need to try and concentrate on cricket … just move on and get on with it,’’ Jayawardene said yesterday in Melbourne, where Sri Lanka opened their tour against a Victorian Second XI. ‘‘Financially, it is a burden for some of the guys, so we need to make sure they’ve got that security, knowing that they will get paid, so we can keep their focus on their game.’’
The players have not threatened to strike but their goodwill may expire if the board does not meet the February 29 deadline.
While Australia’s top players can receive close to $1 million from Cricket Australia, Sri Lanka’s elite are believed to be on deals of around $100,000 with their board.
Their relatively low contracts makes them vulnerable to the temptation of retiring from international cricket to pursue lucrative offers from domestic Twenty20 tournaments, such as the Indian Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League or even Australia’s Big Bash League.
Kumar Sangakkara, rated first and seventh respectively in the ICC Test and ODI batting rankings, commanded a $US700,000 fee in last year’s IPL player auction, while skipper Jayawardene was sold to the defunct Kochi for $1.5 million.
‘‘There’s a lot of opportunities for cricketers to earn significant amounts of money, in fact more than they can playing for their board, in other countries,’’ Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, said.
‘‘They’ve got families, they’ve got mouths to feed, they’ve got mortgages to pay etc, then they’ll look at their opportunities.
‘‘That would be a tragic situation for Sri Lanka Cricket. They desperately need to do something. They desperately need to find funding so they can pay outstanding debts, not only to cricketers but also hotel chains, air carriers etc and other creditors, such that they can get their act together and operate properly as a governing body for cricket in that country.’’
Sri Lankan cricket has endured turbulence on and off the field since what proved to be a financially disastrous World Cup for it last year. The board accrued debts of $32.5 million after building two new stadiums, in Hambantota and Pallekele, and renovating a ground in Colombo. The team has also had two captains and four coaches in the past year, and recently appointed South African Graham Ford just four months after signing Geoff Marsh to a two-year deal, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Courtesy: Ada Derana
What a pathetic situation while the rulers and their goons are robbing the place left, right and center. I wonder what has ND the conscience of the nation has to say to this. Instead of calling me a mad dog again we shall see what siyya has to say now. No essays please siyya. It appears others are not interested in ND’s vile comments on me. Siyya, barking dogs do not bite. So do not bark and be you age in your twilight years. Why collect more bad karma.
Pathetic! Sri Lanka was known to outside world for 4 things. world’s first female PM, Sri Lanka Tea, LTTE and Cricket. Now Madam Sirima and LTTE gone only our Cricket and Tea is left. These cricketers keep our Sri Lankan flag flying high and act as good ambassadors for our dear Mother Land. If we treat them like this we will become the laughing stock of the entire world. Can Sri Lanka treat these Cricketers as our president treat his own sons? These cricketers deserve it.
Now the tea is also not among the best have gone out. Only cricket remains a game of taste to every Sri Lankan. When the big shots appear in TV programs they simply denies the bankruptcy of the board.but we all know that there is a problem exists in this part of the world. We are helpless, Cricketers are helpless! Politics !!!!
This is utterly outrageous! Is this how our cricket heroes are treated? No wonder they lack the will and interest to play! They are professional players and not an amateur team. They represent our country. It is utterly despicable the way our beloved cricket heroes are being treated!
The blame lies in the creation of the new international cricket ground in the wilderness of Hambantota, to please the ego of one man. This ground should have been surely built using government funds from the sports ministry and not by pilfering the meagre funds, budgeted for cricketers’ and staff’ pay. The cricket team has no union to fight their corner. Surely, the media should therefore take up the issue vehemently and keep at it till it is resolved. Isn’t it time the ICI comes to the rescue by imposing the sports ministry to cough up all the money owed to the SL team, failing which no more international matches will be paid against SL? The poor cricketers cannot take ‘industrial action’ nor can they resolve the issue through the civil court. Isn’t it time Hon President resolve this issue by special payment of ALL THE BACK PAY through the finance ministry, since he is the Finance Minister?
As for ‘udu’, my policy is ‘let sleeping mad dogs sleep’!
You are very wrong when you say no one is interested in ND’s essays. I think most peole enjoy ND’s comments because they very informative and to the point.I don’t know how old ND is but if you know for sure then you must respect his age because you will be an old man one day.
AS for the cricket board, It has been a mess for many years. Perhaps Sri Lanka cricket should reduce the number of management that follows the team when touring other countries until this crsis is over. We can not afford to send so many of the mangement team while in crisis. Al we need is to send the support team that is directly linked to the team. WE seem to be spending a lot of money which we do not have sending so many on tour who only sits in the background picking their nose right through the tour. Can we afford this.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s inability to pay SL Cricket team is poor publicity for a strong cricketing nation.
This is the curse on SL cricket from the MR family. Just to satisfy their ego they forced SL cricket consisting of backboneless people to build a cricket stadium in H’tota with no cricketing pedigree or any rationale for a stadium.
Now SL cricket is down the drain…. but who cares….. they have got a stadium !!!!
The same utter stupid ego tried to spend Rs 500 billion to get commonwealth games!!!!! Sadly they are not responsible for their actions !!!
The curse is not only on cricket but on the whole country. With pfamilies sharing tea bags for their tea the whole day and food at exhorbitant prices and rent beyond the reach for most and a regular income being a luxury, it appears 20m people of SL are under the traditional “7 year curse”.
Thanks for defending me against the drivel of ‘Udu’. I will be 72 this year. My friend AUJ used to write often to ONLANKA and also defend me against ‘udu’, who indulges in insulting me but writes nothing constructive and informative.
I do hope AUJ is in good health. Our prayers and best wishes to you AUJ! We understand if you cannot write more often now.
We are very grateful for Hon President for saving Motherlanka from the LTTE and for the economic recovery on fast track. It is even a more difficult battle! I am sure, the whole nation is with me in wishing him well, but we do want him to muzzle his growing ego and work entirely and tirelessly in the interest of Motherlanka and not in selfinterest at the same time. Otherwise he will have to account for his failures oneday, as some leaders around the world learnt from bitter experience, for allowing their ego to get the better of them. Do we need huge cutouts and bill boards to remind the nation what a great man he is?
Thank you dear ND for your prayers and best wishes for my good health.I was in bed for about two days and now back again fit to browse through my mail and On lanka blogs.udurawana seems to be indulging in his Sadistic pastime of of calling us ‘GERIATRICS’ and many more with hardly any reference to the subject matter under discussion. He is a racist and a Sadist may be partly due to probably born fatherless and mother dead and gone he has no respect to his seniors.
As for our Cricket, we definitely are passing through a bad patch. Cricket Board though constituted with the blessings of the President himself consisted of anti govt.and self conceited men. Hence this debacle.Let us hope we shall get over the crisis very soon.
You senile, why are you inheriting more bad karma by calling me names in the midst of you playing your last innings!
I have noticed that ever since you started calling me names your health has been going downhill! Watch your tongue, it could do you untold damage.
‘Polkudu’ is barking like a mad dog again! Mad dogs have no respect for seniors. He thinks he will not grow old one day, perhaps rightly so, as most mindless thugs die young.
They say actions speak louder than words but in Udu’s case his words gives us a cleanr picture that he is an uncivilised barbarian who has no respect foe the elders. Unfortunately when he gets to 70 he will not be able to do much because his hatred will overcome him and consume him. So don’t take much notice of him.
Thank you SisiraP.
A Big Thank You from me also.