Malinga to finally get full contract
TV blackout in the offing?
By S.R. Pathiravithana

Lasith Malinga -- one of Sri Lanka’s genuine fast bowlers who had been out of cricket and out of peer favour is to finally get his lost contract for 2008.

The Lankan contingent were to get their contracts renewed on March 1, 2008 but, owing to various reasons and bad handling of the issue, it was delayed.

Finally when the contracts were handed over at the end of the Asia Cup, the names of Sanath Jayasuriya (who had retired from Test cricket) and Lasith Malinga who had suffered a foot injury were missing. However Farveez Maharoof who had a similar injury to Malinga was given the full contract.

Subsequently, Jayasuriya was also included in the grade ‘A’ category (for ODIs only) at 40% of the full amount.

Thereafter with the intervention of the Sri Lanka Cricket Players Association on behalf of the beleaguered twenty-five year old fast bowler, a sum of Rs. 1.5 million was provided as compensation by Sri Lanka Cricket.

At a recent Interim Committee meeting however it was decided to back date the contract and take Malinga into the fold with the grade II contract to the value of $60,000/-.

Explaining the issue to The Sunday Times an IC member said “The decision to give Malinga a contract was a unanimous one and we would deduct the Rs.1.5 million already paid to him as compensation and give the balance with immediate effect”.

So far Malinga has played 28 Tests, taken 91 wickets at an average of 33.80, appeared in 53 ODIs and taken 79 wickets, at an average of 25.58.

The pinnacle of his career was his four wickets in a single over against South Africa which brought Sri Lanka a very unlikely victory in a World Cup tie in the West Indies last year.

Originally Malinga was overlooked for the full contract as a result of a SLC heavyweight being against him being included in the list.

TV blackout?

Meanwhile the existing TV deal with Taj TV is due expire on December 31, 2008 after the ministry of sports cancelled the deal that was due to run till 2012.

According to insiders it is remote that there would be any meaningful offers for TV rights for the ensuing term as there will not be any engagements against India in the foreseeable future. Sri Lanka is due to take on New Zealand and Pakistan at home next year.

The insider added “at present the situation is very grave. With the latest stance of India regarding the SLC over the IPL issue things are looking very bleak.

Now India has cancelled the two impending Indian tours of Sri Lanka and as a result we are not even in position to open a bid document calling for fresh TV rights... if we can not get that on time we will be in for a rough time in the very near future”.

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