5 Sri Lankan cricketers refuse to sign tour contracts ahead of India series

Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, and Kasun Rajitha have refused to sign ‘tour contracts’ ahead of the limited-overs series against India, which begins on July 13.

The Sri Lankan players and their board are currently at odds over a new contract. 24 national players have refused to sign new contracts that pay them based on their fitness and performance on the field.

Because players refused to sign the new performance-based contract, the board de vised a ‘tour-based’ contract that cricketers must sign before a series in order to continue representing Sri Lanka while the main contract dispute between the board and the players is settled. The five reported players, however, have reportedly declined to sign the ‘tour-based’ contract, therefore ruling them out of contention for selection against India. The five players have also been excluded from the residential camp in Colombo and Dambulla.

Sri Lanka’s main set of players are currently in England, competing in a limited-overs series against the hosts. Sri Lanka was thrashed in the three-match T20I series and is down 1-0 in the three-match ODI series.

Off the field, things have been a mess for Sri Lankan cricket for quite some time. Three players were recently sent home from the tour of England, including vice-captain Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella, after they were found guilty of breaking bio-bubble policy.