Colombo: Clearing the air of uncertainty over its participation in the World Cup, the Sri Lankan cricketers on Thursday signed the ICC contracts after striking a deal with Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) over the acrimonious pay issue. According to the deal arrived at after lengthy talks between the BCCSL and captain Sanath Jayasuriya, the players will get 12 per cent of the guarantee money from the World Cup as against the 10 per cent announced earlier.
The players will get additional one per cent of the guarantee money for progressing to the Super Sixes, and further one per cent each for reaching the semi-finals and the final. "The dark clouds have moved away and there is sunshine once again, said BCCSL chief Hemaka Amarasuriya at a press conference. Amarasuriya said there was a cheerful mood among players and cricket administrators after the deal was struck.
"We have never had so much laughter in the boardroom here," he said. The 12 per cent agreed upon on Thursday is substantially less than the 20 per cent that the players had been demanding. The BCCSL had threatened to field a "B" team or pull out completely if the players insisted on a 20 per cent share of the $ 6.4 million the BCCSL is getting from the ICC as guarantee money. Thursday's agreement has other incentives for the players as well.
For each match that the team wins, the players will be entitled to share a bounty of $ 15,000 over and above their match fees of $ 1,400. The BCCSL has also decided to pay two per cent of the total guarantee money among 240 premier league players in the country as an incentive for them to perform well.