Former captains Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Dinesh Chandimal along with current Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and a few senior regular players of the Sri Lanka team have reportedly refused to sign the new central contracts offered to them by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board after it came with significant pay cuts.
Sri Lanka cricket has already signaled that they will be focusing on building a new and more youthful team in the limited-overs formats- ODIs, and T20Is, keeping the 2023 ICC World Cup, to be played in India in mind. This means lesser opportunities for the senior Sri Lankan players in white-ball cricket and hence they were offered some pretty large pay cuts in their new central contracts.
Former T20 captain Thisara Perera even announced his retirement from international cricket at just the age of 32 years, after he was informed about the new selection policy and that he was not going to be selected for the upcoming white-ball tour of Bangladesh.
Angelo Mathews Gets $ 50,000 Pay Cuts, Dimuth Karunaratne To Get $ 30,000 Pay Cut
Sri Lanka’s new website Island.lk, reported that Angelo Mathews will lose as much as US$ 50,000 after his retainer was cut from US$ 130,000 to US$ 80,000. He will turn 34 next month and with Sri Lanka playing only two more Tests this year, there will be very little motivation for him to accept the contract.
Similarly, Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne will also receive a pay cut of US$ 30,000. Following his stunning hundred at the Wanderers in January and after finishing the Bangladesh series with 427 runs in three innings, Karunaratne, would have at least expected to stay on par with his previous contract of US$ 100,000, but his pay has been brought down to 70,000.
Apart from Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews, stand-in Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal will also get a pay cut of US$ 45,000 as he has been demoted to the second category. Dinesh Chandimal will be up for more demotion as he is set to receive a retainer of US$ 45,000.
The biggest gainers in the new contracts that will be announced shortly are expected to be Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva, who will each earn US$ 100,000. And surprisingly, they are the only two players in the top category.
Pathum Nissanka, who made a stunning debut in the Caribbean two months ago receiving a retainer worth US$ 55,000. Along with him, Kasun Rajitha will also receive a retainer of US$50,000.