Sri Lanka Cricket News SEP 2016 – Compiled by Victor Melder

The touring Australians beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets to win the fifth and final One-Day International, played at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Kandy.

Scores: Sri Lanka – 195 in 40.2 Overs (Gunathilaka 39, de Silva 34, Mendis 33, Pathirana 32, Starc 3/40, Head 2/22, Zampa 2/43, Boland 1/28) Australia – 199/5 in 43 Overs (Warner 106, Bailey 44, Perera 3/51, de Silva 2/35) Player of the Match: D.A.Warner (Australia) Player of the Series: G.J.Bailey (Australia) Australia won the 5-match series 4-1.

The touring Australians beat Sri Lanka by 85 runs to win the first T20 game, played at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. Scores: Australia – 263/3 in 20 Overs (Maxwell 145no, Head 45, Khawaja 36, Warner 28, Pathirana 1/45, Senanayake 1/49, Perera 1/58) Sri Lanka – 178/9 in 20 Overs (Chandimal 58, Kapugedera 43, Mendis 22, Starc 3/26, Boland 3/26, Henriques 1/24, Zampa 1/27, Faulkner 1/38) T20 debut: S.S.Pathirana (Sri Lanka) Player of the Match: G.J.Maxwell (Australia)

The touring Australians beat Sri Lanka by 4 wickets to win the second and final T20 game, played at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Scores: Sri Lanka – 128/9 in 20 Overs (de Silva 62, Perera 22, Zampa 3/16, Faulkner 3/19, Hastings 2/23, Starc 1/32) Australia – 130/6 in 17.5 Overs (Maxwell 66, Warner 25, Wade 14, Dilshan 2/8, Pathirana 2/23, Prasanna 1/16) Player of the Match: G.J.Maxwell (Australia) Player of the Series: G.J.Maxwell (Australia) Australia won the 2-match series 2-0.

The National cricketers are in for a substantial pay-cut in their contract fees as well as on match-fees as their paymaster – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) prepares a performance based pay-packet for the ensuing year. Instead, players will receive a significant increase in individual performance bonus and win bonus – a strategy the SLC is keen to implement to encourage better performances of players. A SLC media statement on Sunday said that it would contract 100 players in all – 30 National and ‘A’ Team players who would be given central contracts, 20 youth players (emerging category), 25 state players (senior veterans) and 25 provincial players. “Discussions among the players of all categories and officials of the SLC led by President, Thilanga Sumathipala took place on September 10 at the SLC Headquarters, and the contracts are due to be signed next week,” the statement added.

The documents has in possession reveal that SLC had disbursed a sum of Rs. 684.85 million among 16 National players from March 2015 to April 2016, around 33 per cent of the Board’s annual income. Out of the sixteen who received central contracts, nine players have received from anything over Rs. 40 million to Rs. 95 million. These payments include contracts fees, match-fees, seniority payments, win bonus, prize monies, 10 per cent share of the ICC and ACC events, percentage of clothing and team sponsorship and individual performance bonuses.

Though SLC’s income is comparatively lower than those of affluent board’s like India and Australia, they have paid their cricketers handsomely on par with the international standard. For an instance, a Grade 1 cricketer in India was paid an annual contract fee of US $190,000, a Test match-fee of US $7,500, an ODI fee of US $4,500 and US $2,250 for a T20 match last seasons. Australia offered an annual contract fee of Australian $ 900,000, a Test match fee of $ 14,000, an ODI fee of $ 7,000 and a T20 fee of $ 5,000 for all contracted players while the skipper earns 25 per cent more in his retainer fee as ‘captains’ bonus’. A player in Sri Lanka’s top category received a contract fee of US $165,000, category 2 US $100,000, US $70,000 in category 3 and US $40,000 in category 4 during the 2015-2016 contract periods which ended in February. In addition they were also paid a match fee of US $7,500 for a Test, US $3,000 for an ODI match However, SLC’s decision is likely to spark a fresh revolt from the players given that they will suffer a substantial financial loss under the proposed performance based system.

In 2014, the Sri Lankan players refused to sign the new payment contracts as their demands of 20 per cent share from the income derived through ICC events haven’t been met by the Cricket Board However after a lengthy battle, the matter was settled after the SLC offered a flat fee for ICC Tournament participation and a further incentive payment, in response to the players’ demands for a 20 per cent cut of the gross sum received by the SLC for global events. (Champika Fernando) (Daily Mirror 28.9.2016)