Five Sri Lankan players - Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara and Kasun Rajitha - have refused to sign 'tour contracts' ahead of the limited-overs series against India starting on July 13.
Sri Lankan players are currently in a deadlock with their board regarding a new contract. 24 national players have refused to sign new contracts which reward them based on their fitness standards and on-field performances.
With players refusing to sign the new performance-based contract, the board came up with a 'tour-based' contract which cricketers have to sign before a series so that they can continue representing Sri Lanka while the main contract dispute is being resolved between the board and the players.
However, the five reported players have now refused to even sign the 'tour-based' contract as well, which puts them out of contention for selection against India. The five players have also been left out of the residential camp which is going on in Colombo and Dambulla. SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said:
"Until the national contract issue is resolved they were asked to sign the tour contract if they are going to be available for the Indian series, so that they can go into a bubble as we are investing in them. But they were reluctant to sign the tour contract and therefore they were left out of the residential camps. They did not join the bubble in Dambulla or Colombo."
The core group of Sri Lankan players are currently in England, where they are playing in a limited-overs series against the hosts. Sri Lanka were whitewashed in the three-match T20I series and are currently 1-0 down in the 3-match ODI series.
Three Sri Lankan players asked to leave from England after breaking bio-bubble protocol
Things have been going haywire for Sri Lanka cricket off the field for quite some time now. Three players, including vice-captain Kusal Mendis along with Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella, were recently sent home from the tour of England after they were found guilty of breaking bio-bubble protocol.
Reports suggest that Sri Lanka cricket is set to give them a lengthy ban from international cricket. There will supposedly be a 12-month suspension for the guilty trio.