Former Sri Lanka great Arvinda de Silva, who heads the Cricket Committee has defended the new payment structure that has led to a dispute between players and the Sri Lanka Cricket board. Arvinda de Silva said that the committee ‘discussed’ all aspects of the ‘performance based’ system and created a ‘fair’ system where they will be guaranteed increased income based on performance.
“The Committee has been very fair to them by infusing additional benefits than before, which is on a performance-based scheme. We discussed this matter in depth before we presented it to the players. Unlike in the past, we have increased the benefits three-fold (300%) than what it was but purely on the team’s performance,” de Silva told the Daily News.
Instead, he asked players to give up on the attitude of complaining and focus on performing well for Sri Lanka which anyway would make the new payment structure worthwhile and the SLC too can take that ‘positive approach’ to consider offering more benefits than stipulated in the newly-introduced payment structure.
“The most important fact is that they should get into the middle and play positive cricket and start winning games for the country rather than complaining. This positive approach will encourage us to consider offering them more benefits, like some of the other countries in our region,” he added.
Detailing the up-gradation in payment for players, de Silva said that if Sri Lanka players have been offered payment three times more than their previous payment in case of good performances.
“It has to be a collective effort by the whole team. If they win a Test series, we pay them US $ 150,000 which was earlier limited to US $ 50,000. Winning a limited overs series we have offered them US $75,000, which was earlier limited to US $25,000. We also introduced a slab for the T20 format, which also runs up to a maximum of US $ 50,000, which earlier didn't have any rewards at all. Therefore, it is very unfair that our players say that they are not agreeable to this scheme,” de Silva asserted.
Sri Lanka are touring Bangladesh for a three-match long ODI series and they have tasted their first series defeat in the format against Bangladesh.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has pointed out that the side would need to figure out an option for the wicket-keeper’s position before going into the World T20 slated to take place later this year. "The keeper-batsman is probably the slot they'd be losing the most sleep over right now," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "They've still got some questions to answer as far as what their overall squad looks like and I think the biggest one is 'Who is going to be standing behind the stumps with the gloves on?' Ponting further said that despite trying some players to take the responsibility behind the stumps, the Australian team hasn’t been able to find a permanent customer for the spot. Though, the two-time World Cup-winning captain suggested Josh Inglis’ name and added that he has been impressive during the BBL. "They have tried a few blokes – Wade has been there, Phillipe has just played as a batter, Alex Carey has been in and out and tried in a few different batting spots,” he said. "Josh Inglis' name could be thrown into the ring as well – I really liked what I saw from him batting in the middle order in last summer's BBL,” Ponting added, Australia have never lifted the World T20 but ended as the runner’s up in the 2010 edition after suffering a defeat against England in the final.
New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra has earned his maiden call up to the senior side on the tour of England and the all-rounder is aware of the legacy and big things that the tour brings with it. New Zealand will play the first Test of the series at Lord’s and there is no shortage of fascination in Ravindra although he is not certain to get opportunities in the playing XI. Instead, he has chosen to enjoy the ‘incredible’ feeling of even staying around the Blackcaps side throughout the series against England. “I think that’s always my dream to play at Lord’s. Everything that greats have done lie scoring runs and looking at the honours board, and watching the cricket as growing up. MIght not get the opportunity (at Lord’s) but even being in and around the group will be incredible,” Ravindra said in a video posted by Spark Sport. He is also aware of the legacy and tradition that have been followed at Lord’s during a Test match and conceded that he has dreams about it. However, he has tried hard to not think too far ahead of the times and instead of living the day as it pases. “Definitely, there will be some dreams about it but no point getting too far ahead of myself. Getting day by day,” Ravindra added. Ravindra has burst onto the scene for his all-around abilities with the bat and ball. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson also rated him an exciting player to come in the fold who will get opportunities with Blackcaps. Ravindra pushed his claim for a place in the playing XI for the first Test with two-wicket haul in the first innings of the intra-squad game being played in Southampton.
The members of the Indian women’s team slated to travel to the UK have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The players are presently quarantined in Mumbai before they take the flight to England. India will begin the tour on June 16 with a one-off Test in Bristol and would be followed by a two-match T20I series and three Tests. The players will now be administered their second dose by the UK health department. The Indian contingent is scheduled to take the flight on June 2. "All the players of the women's team have got their first dose of vaccination. Most of them got it in their respective cities, while a few who didn't, got their first jabs on Thursday," a BCCI source said. Spinner Deepti Sharma had also posted a picture on social media that read, “Though I am a little scared of needles, but I still got myself vaccinated today. I urge people to please get vaccinated as soon as they can! #GotTheDose #We4Vaccine #CovidVaccine.” While India will play a Test in England, they will also face Australia in a Day-Night fixture later this year. The iconic WACA at Perth will be hosting the day-night Test match. Earlier, the Indian players had hailed the BCCI for organising the one-off Test on the tour to the UK. "I got that sunshine in my pocket, Got that good soul in my feet!!' I know I'm a little late to the party, but it is massive for @BCCIWomen to have another test match added to this year's itinerary. Kudos to everyone who has made this possible. #TestCricketIsTheBest,” Shikha Pandey wrote on her Twitter handle. This will be the first occasion after 15 years when the Indian women’s team will play Australia in a Test.
After becoming the face of the first series loss to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has defended the move of prioritising young players for the ODI tour of Bangladesh. He said that the door of the selection process is not closed for anyone and they can come back on the back of strong performances but meanwhile Sri Lanka have adopted an approach that will serve the team well over the next couple of years leading up to the World Cup in 2021. ''Dropping is a harsh word. We have looked at a way we can go forward without them (the seniors). There's no dropping. The guys can come back at any given time,'' Arthur told reporters. He said that although the tourists dropped the likes of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, the team still has Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera with a lot of international experience along with the players like Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva who have had a fair bit of exposure at international level as well. ''We have lacked a little bit through the middle, but we have some senior players. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis have played a lot. Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have played a fair amount. Those are the guys we are banking on to become those players. The doors are not closed on anybody. Certainly some senior players can come back at any given time depending on performances. ''We are trying to create depth within our side. Everybody puts pressure on each other, so that they can become the best that they can possibly be. This is a young team which we are building up to 2023. We can back them, but we need something back to show that we are on the right track to take them forward.” Notably, batting coach Grant Flower pointed out the difference between the two sides in terms of experience in the batting lineup and called it one of the factors behind Sri Lanka’s series loss. Discussing the series loss against Bangladesh, Arthur expressed astonishment over Sri Lankan batsmen’s inability to counter the Bangladesh spinners as he has seen them handling spinners very well while practising. He pointed out that maybe the ‘fear of failure’ or pressure situations got better of them in the first two ODI of the series. ''We battled to come to terms with the spinners, which is very surprising for me. The batsmen I see out in the nets are totally different to the batsmen who have gone out in the middle. Whether it is performing under pressure or fear of failure - those are the things you have to take out of your mind. They are all very skilled batsmen, particularly against spin. They haven't shown that yet, but I am looking for a really good performance tomorrow.