210402 Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka players and in dispute with the SLC board Image Credit: AFP

Cricket in Sri Lanka plunged into a crisis after leading players refused to sign new contracts they find “unfair and non-transparent”, media reported on Saturday.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) handed contracts to 24 players on the eve of the team’s departure for Bangladesh, with lower base salaries and more performance-based incentives. In a statement through a legal representatives, the cricketers reportedly said they were “not in agreement to sign unfair and non-transparent contracts and urge SLC to not hold the players at gunpoint”.

The players, including Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne and ODI skipper Kusal Perera, also expressed “shock and dismay” at the SLC’s decision to make public their proposed salary details, according to the reports.

They said the salary offered to them was roughly one-third of what their counterparts in some other nations got.

ESPNcricinfo said the players have until June 3 to sign their contracts. Sri Lanka are in Bangladesh to play a three-match ODI series beginning on Sunday.