Sri Lanka Cricket Committee chairman Aravinda de Silva has defended the controversial grading system that has become a bone of contention between the management and players. The new system has been branded as non-transparent with players demanding more information as to how their performances will be judged.
However, De Silva, a former Sri Lanka captain, says the details of the new contracts were discussed thoroughly before being presented to the players and it rewards performances.
“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 USD 150,000 which was earlier limited to USD 50,000. It has to be a collective effort by the whole team," de Silva told Daily News.
He advised players to focus on winning matches instead of complaining about the contracts. “We also introduced a slab for the T20 format, which also runs up to a maximum of USD 50,000, which earlier didn’t have any rewards at all. 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. 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," he said.
The players have refused to sign the new contracts offered by SLC complaining of unfair deals. “The players are not in agreement to sign unfair and non-transparent contracts and urge SLC to not hold the players at gunpoint," lawyer Nishan Sydney Premathiratne, who is representing top Sri Lanka players, had said in a statement.
“Unlike in other nations when disputes arise and result in players seeking other avenues by way of franchise cricket, the Sri Lankan players will continue to be readily available to play and be selected for Sri Lanka," it added.