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Sri Lanka hikes players' fees

Sri Lanka Cricket has agreed to raise players' fees and perks as part of a deal to settle a long-running dispute over contracts.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2008 01:19 PM IST

Sri Lanka Cricket has agreed to raise players' fees and perks as part of a deal to settle a long-running dispute over contracts, officials said Friday.

SLC officials and player representatives thrashed out a deal over the last two days that ended four months of negotiations, amid growing resentment by the country's top cricketers.

"The meetings ended amicably and they agreed to our request related to the annual fees, match payments and player welfare," said Graeme Labrooy, the secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association.

The deal, which will be signed on next Wednesday, raises the Test match fee from 3,500 dollars to 5,000 dollars, while the fee for one-dayers and Twenty20s will increase from 1,800 dollars to 3,000 dollars.

Under the new contracts, there is a freeze on annual retainers for senior team members, but substantial increases for junior players on the national squad and the A team.

"Sri Lanka Cricket was keen to give an increase to junior players and also encourage non-contracted players by making the match fees the same for all," Labrooy said.

Cricketers will be allowed to write articles and have media contracts, which will be regulated by an existing Code of Conduct for all players.

Annual player contracts were due to be finalised by March 31, but the national players have not been paid since the tour of Australia in February.

"Sri Lanka Cricket agreed to back-date the players' contract payments from March 1, 2008. The contract runs till February 2009," Labrooy said.

"The players will sign their contracts next week."

The settlement comes soon after SLC agreed to the players' request to seek a rescheduling of the tour of England next April as it clashes with a lucrative Indian Twenty20 competition.

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