Former Sri Lanka captain and legendary batsman Aravinda de Silva has asked the national team cricketers to “start winning games rather than complaining” as he defended the proposed annual players’ contracts prepared by the committee under him.
De Silva said the players’ rejection of the central contracts was “unfair” because the Board is offering more for winning series against top-ranked opposition.
“It is very unfair that our players say that they are not agreeable to this scheme. The most important fact is 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,” de Silva was quoted as saying by ‘Daily News’.
Last week, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that 24 of the leading players had been offered contracts under four categories and they had been given a deadline until June 3 to sign on dotted lines.
Only six players are in the category A and their annual pay ranges between USD 70,000 to 100,000. Batsman Dhananjaya de Silva draws highest — USD 100,000 with the rest of them were to receive USD 70,000 to 80,000 US dollars.
Sri Lanka’s leading cricketers led by Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne along with host of senior players, including Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews have refused to sign the central contracts which they believe is far less compared to other countries.
De Silva said the Cricket Committee, which he heads, has been very fair to the players as the new system will infuse additional benefits than before as it is a performance-based scheme.
“We discussed this matter in depth before we presented it to the players. Unlike in the past, we have increased the benefits three-fold (300%) than what it was but purely on the team’s performance.
“It has to be a collective effort by the whole team. If they win a Test series, we pay them USD 150,000 which was earlier limited to USD 50,000,” said the 55-year-old who scored 6361 runs from 93 Tests between 1984 and 2002.
Explaining further, the former stylish batsman said: “Winning a limited overs series we have offered them USD 75,000, which was earlier limited to USD 25,000.
“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.”