The longstanding row between Sri Lanka Cricket and its cricketers over national contracts took a new turn on Wednesday with senior player Angelo Mathews hinting at retirement after not being offered a contract.
The development comes ahead of the limited overs home series against India beginning here on July 13.
Mathews, the senior most among the current crop of players, and Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne found themselves excluded from the contracts that were offered on Wednesday morning.
An unhappy Mathews has reportedly written to the SLC administration stating that he is considering retirement. He is expected to make a formal announcement of his intentions in a few days.
What the SLC did on Wednesday was to offer contracts on the basis of each tour, a SLC source said. There will be no annual contracts as the immediate need was to sign players for the series against India, he said.
The source said that all players who had previously refused to sign contracts did sign them on Wednesday after they were given a July 8 deadline.
Under the SLC’s performance based pay plan, 24 of the leading players had been offered contracts under four categories.
In the categories released, only six players were in the category A and their annual pay ranged between USD 70,000 to 100,000. Players felt the plan lacked transparency and the proposed pay would be much lower than the approved pay scales of the Federation of International Cricket Association (FICA).
The players had flown to England for the limited overs tour without signing national contracts.