Will the freelancer sign Sri Lanka Cricket contract?

Lasith included in the top category once again
By S.R. Pathiravithana

Once again the Sri Lankan bowling star Lasith Malinga has been included in the top category of the SLC central player contract for the year 2012/13. Malinga has been slotted along with top players – skipper Mahela Jayawardena, former skippers Kumar Sangakkara and T.M. Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera.

Lasith Malinga is Mumbai’s local hero

As Malinga plays only the two limited overs versions as he has retired from the longer version of the game he was entitled to only 40% of his full fee. The fast bowler opted not to sign and go without a central contract. The Sunday Times learns that the top five players would be offered a sum around 120,750US$ a player for the year.

When asked what would be Malinga’s position in this year’s contract the SLC source said “We have offered him the full contract in the top category and that is the way we treat him. However it is up to him to choose where he is going to be slotted in”.

Last week the bowler told the Hindustan Times that he intends being a freelance cricketer and signed for the English County team Middlesex to play in the domestic T20 league. This also means the bowler may give more emphasis to lucrative T20 offers that are mushrooming through the cricketing world.
Malinga signed with the Mumbai Indian for a reported fee of US$ 1.1 million and has been the success story of the Ambani franchise taking over 20 wickets in IPL 5 and is the current purple cap holder.
In the second category of the contract comes the Sri Lankan vice captain Angelo Mathews and fast improving left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara and Upul Tharanga. The category two promises the players a sum of around US$ 82,688 for the period of the contract.

The category three consists of only Test wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene who would be assured of a sum of over 66450 US$. The category four will have four players in Tharanga Paranavithana, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal.

Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando should consider himself lucky to in the fifth category along with Chanaka Welagedera and Thissara Perera while the sixth category includes Chamara Kapugedera, Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Thirimanne. Thus Sri Lanka Cricket has offered the central contracts to 20 players so far.

In the next categories according to the SLC source – there are nine players in category ‘A’, 16 in category ‘B’, seven in category ‘C” and eight in category ‘D’. This year once again the contracts were on a performance based evaluation and reportedly the number has been pruned down to 60 from last year’s one hundred. However the source added “There may be about another ten cricketers who would be offered the contracts eventually”.

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