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Sri Lanka players refuse to sign contract; ECB institutionally racist?

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi
June 05, 2021 19:49 IST
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Sri Lanka

Photograph: Kind Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket/Twitter

The Sri Lanka national team players have refused to sign the annual central contract, alleging lack of transparency from the cricket board.

The decision wasn't surprising as almost all the senior players in unison, had made it clear that the contracts offered by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wasn't to their liking and also excluded some deserving performers.

The players in a collective statement said that they have 'decided not to sign the tour contract for the forthcoming tour of England and neither will they enter into any future contracts for tours'.

 

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had announced that 24 of the leading players were offered contracts under 4 categories and they had been given a deadline until June 3 to sign on dotted lines.

The annual retainership ranged between $ 70,000 to 100,000. Star batsman, Dhananjaya de Silva was set to be the highest paid at $ 100,000.

At the height of the dispute and negotiations last month the players said remuneration proposed to players were more than 3 fold lower than payments made to players of other counties according to information received from the Federation of International Cricket Association (FICA).

Sri Lanka is expected to tour England from June 18 to July 4, where they will play three ODIs and an equal number of T20 Internationals.

However the players have also clarified that at no point would they ever refuse to play for the country even when they have not signed the contract and SLC refuses to pay them their salaries.

The senior players were also not happy as public disclosure of their central contract amounts by SLC became a 'grave security concern to each and every player'.

Players claimed that the SLC decision had affected their self-confidence and peace of mind.

The chairman of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) Aravinda de Silva defended the new performance-linked pay system.

He said that SLC was forced to take a 'harsh decision based on the past performances of the players as Sri Lanka's international ranking in all 3 formats had nose-dived'.

We remain convinced that ECB is institutionally racist, have not withdrawn my claims: John Holder

Former English umpire John Holder has hit out at England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the latter's statement that he and his colleague Ismail Dawood have withdrawn their claim of institutional racism.

Holder accused the ECB of being "disingenuous" and "misleading" following their racial discrimination claim.

The duo had announced their intention to sue the ECB in December after alleging that their careers as umpires had been affected by institutional racism at the cricket body.

"Our case against the ECB has been beaten on a legal technicality. I haven't withdrawn any of the claims I made," Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"The tone of the ECB's statement would give the uninvolved reader the impression that we have accepted their version of events and backed down. This is not the case at all. We remain convinced that the ECB is institutionally racist."

Holder, 76, stood in 16 Tests between 1988 and 2001.

In a statement issued on Friday, the ECB said, "We do not agree with the accusation that the ECB is institutionally racist, but we do recognise that the stories and insight, shared by many within cricket in the last 12 months, reflect that as a sport we need to do more to ensure that everyone feels welcome."

"We are in the process of undertaking an independent review of officiating and are committed to acting on its findings to ensure that the game is open and accessible. We have invited John and Ismail to share their experiences as part of that process."

The remarks by English cricket's apex body did not go down well with both the umpires.

"Having read that statement, I knew I couldn't work with these people any more. There is no trust. They aren't looking to learn from my experiences; they are looking to silence me and give the impression that things have been resolved. That is misleading and disingenuous."

Dawood was also not impressed with the ECB's statement. Dawood, 44, played for Yorkshire, Glamorgan and Worcestershire. He officiated in men's domestic cricket and two women's one-day internationals.

"We were offered token roles to work with Neil Snowball at the ECB which were an insult to us and the many others that have suffered at the hands of the ECB," Dawood told the cricket portal.

Last week, former England fast bowlers Dean Headley and Devon Malcolm were appointed to a supplementary panel of ECB match referees.

This comes just three days after debutant England seamer Ollie Robinson issued an apology after tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013 emerged during the opening Test against New Zealand, which he acknowledged were 'racist and sexist' in nature.

Last year, former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq also alleged 'institutional racism' at the county, which have been carrying out an investigation into the claims. 

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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