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 Monday, 20 January, 2003, 12:48 GMT
SL contracts impasse remains
Sri Lanka celebrate a Muralitharan wicket
Players and officials are no closer to a resolution
World Cup contract negotiations between Sri Lanka players and cricket board officials were still deadlocked on Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) has missed the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 17 January deadline for tournament contracts to be signed.

And the BCCSL said the row was no closer to being over despite ongoing talks.

"We haven't been able to come to a resolution," cricket board chief executive Anura Tennekoon said.

We will talk to the ICC on what further action we can take

BCCSL cricket board chief executive
Anura Tennekoon

"Hopefully this will be resolved. If not, then we will inform the ICC and get advice and then proceed accordingly."

Last week ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed warned Sri Lanka's cricket board it could face trouble it it failed to meet the contracts deadline.

The dispute began after the BCCSL had its offer of performance-based payments turned down by the national squad.

The players want a flat 20% of the BCCSL's guaranteed fee of US$6.4m from the World Cup.

But the authorities confirmed on Sunday they were only willing to offer 10% plus an incentive payment.

Bonus

The incentive is a US$100,000 bonus to be shared by the team if they win the World Cup, while match fees would be doubled from $700 to $1,400.

The BCCSL has defended its stance by arguing it was particularly generous to its players in 2002.

During the course of that year it paid 70% of its total revenue to its players.

The new pay demand would leave the board without adequate cash for promoting the game in rural areas of the island, it argued.

Tennekoon admitted the situation was difficult.

"We will also talk to the ICC on what further action we can take in this regard," he said.

"We will be looking at several options."

Those options presumably include the prospect of sending out a second XI ro represent Sri Lanka.

Cricket World Cup 2003 begins on 8 February in South Africa

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