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    SL cricketers want contract issue settled early

    Colombo: Sri Lanka cricketers demanded that if they are to sign contracts to take part in a cricket tournament next month, the issue should be settled by the authorities early.

    The Sri Lanka Cricket Board is hosting the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) next month and several national as well as international players have been selected to take part in the tournament, reports Xinhua.

    Speaking at the official launch of the tournament in Colombo Monday night, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said the contract issue is being discussed with the cricket board. He said that the players hope the issue will be resolved within the next few days and will sign the SLPL contracts only after that issue is settled.

    The national cricketers are said to have had an issue over the payments offered by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for the contracted players. The board recently announced the categories under which the national players will be offered contracts.

    Most of the top national players have been selected by the franchise owners of the SLPL and these will have to sign contracts to take part in the event. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket president Upali Dharmadasa insisted that the issue over the national team contracts will be resolved before the end of this month.

    He said he has had discussions with the players and there was no issue despite the delay in getting the players to agree to the terms and conditions in the national contracts. The SLPL will be held next month and the 21-day event will see several international players taking part alongside local players.

    However, India will not take part in the tournament as a result of restrictions imposed by the Indian cricket board, Dharmadasa said.

    Jayawardene said the event will help young Sri Lankan cricketers to develop their game by playing alongside international players. However, he urged the cricket authorities to use the event to improve cricket facilities outside Colombo and harness young talents.