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Sri Lankan selectors ask players to confirm availability for England tour

Sanath Jayasuriya is the chief selector of Sri Lankan Cricket © Getty Images
Sanath Jayasuriya is the chief selector for Sri Lankan Cricket © Getty Images

Colombo: Apr 18, 2014

With the contract dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and the players yet to resolved, the selectors have asked players to come clear on their availability for the forthcoming tour of Ireland and England.

Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said the players had been asked to inform about their availability for the twin tours beginning May 6 and ending on June 28.

Sri Lanka will engage Ireland in two One Day Internationals (ODI) in Dublin on May 6 and 8 before starting the England tour with two T20 matches. There will be five ODIs and two Tests at Lord’s and Headingley.

Jayasuriya said the two Sri Lanka players in the current Indian Premier League (IPL), Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera, would be free to continue playing in the IPL if they don’t make themselves available for the two tours.

The chief selector said the two senior players, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene along with Malinga, would anyway not be considered for the Irish leg of the tour.

SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said players can sign tour specific contracts. This is indicative of the unresolved state of the contract dispute.

Players demanded 20 per cent from SLC’s International Cricket Council (ICC) revenue and the dispute threatened Sri Lanka’s chances in the world T20 which they ultimately won.

The SLC came up with a revised formula for player fees and the two sides failed to reach an agreement up to the very last minute before the team could board the flight heading for Bangladesh to play in the world T20.

Although indications had been made that players would agree to a 12.5 per cent from ICC revenue instead of the original demand for 20 per cent, there was no final agreement and contracts remained unsigned.

The bad blood between the players and the administration came out even during the heroes’ welcome accorded to the national team as they returned after winning the wold T20.

Addressing a televised press conference at the airport, Jayawardene and Sangakkara blamed the officials for causing mental distress to the team just before the tournament.

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