Unpaid Lankan cricketers get support from SA players

Johannesburg: Unpaid by their Board for the past eight months, the Sri Lankan cricketers got the support of their South African counterparts, who feel it`s a credit to Tillakaratne Dilshan`s men that they have still carried on with national duty.

In a statement issued by the South African Cricketers` Association (SACA), Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith said the situation is "far from ideal".

The players have not been by a cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket, which is awaiting USD 4.3 million payments from the ICC for co-hosting this year`s World Cup, and the South Africans hoped that the matter would be resolved soon.

"We want to show our support for Tillakaratne Dilshan and our fellow professional cricketers from Sri Lanka on this issue," Smith said.

"It is far from ideal that the Sri Lankan team is about to start a tough Test series and ODI series here in South Africa without having been paid any of their remuneration for the last eight months," he added.

Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers said non-payment of players` dues is not right given how professionally the sport is managed now.

"In this age of professionalism in cricket this kind of thing should not be happening," de Villiers said.

"It`s a credit to the players that they`ve kept playing for their country since March despite all of this. We hope it gets sorted out soon."

The Sri Lankan Cricketers` Association (SLCA) has sought the Federation of International Cricketers` Association`s help on the matter.

South Africa are set to host Sri Lanka for three Tests and five ODIs and SACA`s chief-executive Tony Irish hoped that the matter would be resolved before the Dilshan and Co start their tour game against South Africa A on December 9.

"It`s difficult to understand how a board which has just co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup can find itself in such a desperate financial situation that it can`t pay its national team of fully contracted professionals for months on end," Irish was quoted as saying.

"We know that the players association in Sri Lanka is doing what it can to sort this out for the players and we hope for some positive progress before the first match of the tour starts against," he added.


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