Sri Lankan cricket players refuse to sign reduced pay contracts

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Colombo

Sri Lanka’s national cricket players Saturday refused to sign new pay contracts by a weekend deadline, but said they will take part in the tour of England later this month.

A lawyer representing the cricketers said they did not agree with a new performance-based pay scheme designed by a cricket board panel that included former Australia star Tom Moody.

“Players refuse to sign annual and tour contracts until the pay dispute is resolved,” lawyer Nishan Premathiratne said in a statement.

The statement came as Sri Lanka Cricket extended the June 3 deadline until Sunday.

The statement said players will take part in the upcoming tour of England where they are due to play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches without contracts.

“Even when players are refused pay, they will play for the country because that is their main objective.”

Under the proposed pay structure, former captain Angelo Mathews and current Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne suffered the biggest cuts.

Mathews’ annual fee fell from $130,000 a year to $80,000 while Karunaratne was offered $70,000, a drop of $30,000.

When the new pay plan was unveiled last month, players said it was “non-transparent” and urged Sri Lanka Cricket to not hold them at gunpoint.—AFP

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