Thirty cricketers will be offered central contracts by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for the ensuing year and as reported by Daily Mirror, they have suffered a substantial pay-cut on their annual guaranteed fee compared to the previous year.

Accordingly a player in Sri Lanka’s top category received a contract fee of US $165,000, category 2 received US $100,000, US $70,000 was paid in category 3 and US $40,000 in category 4 during the 2015-2016 contract periods which ended in February.

However, the thirty players will be divided into five categories this time around where a player in the top category will receive a reduced annual contract fee of US$ 125,000 as opposed to US$ 165,000 received last year. A player in category 2 will get US$ 80,000 while the contract fee for category 3 has been set at US$ 60,000. A category 4 player will receive an annual fee of US$ 40,000 and US$ 20,000 per player in category 5.

Instead, players have been offered a significant increase in individual performance bonus and win bonus – a strategy that SLC is keen to implement to boost performance of the national team.

According to the new contract which is yet to be signed, the Test match fee has been brought down to US$ 5,000 from US$ 7,500. This amount will be increased to US$ 10,000, if the team managed to win a Test.

Also every century scored or five or more wickets taken in a Test match will earn them an additional US$ 5,000.

The ODI and T20I match fees remain the same, US$ 3,000 and US$ 2,000 respectively. However in order to create competitiveness and encourage individual performance, the board is offering US$ 5,000 for every century scored in a limited over match and a five-wicket haul taken. In T20’s this has been increased by further US$ 2,500, meaning a century or a five-wicket haul will fetch them US$ 7,500.

As reported by Daily Mirror on September 28, SLC had disbursed a sum of Rs. 684.85 million among 16 national players from March 2015 to April 2016, around 33 per cent of the Board’s annual income.

Out of the sixteen who received central contracts, nine players have received anywhere from over Rs. 40 million to Rs. 95 million.

These payments include contracts fees, match-fees, seniority payments, win bonus, prize monies, 10 per cent share of the ICC and ACC events, percentage of clothing and team sponsorship and individual performance bonuses.

In addition, SLC will also contract 70 domestic cricketers under three categories—senior (former national players over the age of 30 years–Sri Lanka or ‘A’ teams–who have performed consistently in the last domestic tournament scoring over 600 runs and over 38 wickets), emerging (players between the ages of 23-29 who have represented Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Development squad), and youth (those between 20 and 23 years of age who have represented Sri Lanka U19, U23, Premier Tournament, Sri Lanka ‘A’ or Sri Lanka national team). These cricketers will be paid an annual contract fee between Rs. 300,000 to Rs. 1.2 million based on the category they are in and also their performances.

“We have a number of players who have represented Sri Lanka at some stage and continue to play cricket hoping they would get a break-through. We need to look after these cricketers in order to make our domestic cricket competitive and those with promise,” said SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala. These cricketers will be contracted for a period of one year but they will be paid in full in six months, allowing them to sign up with foreign domestic competitions.

A pool of 65 players have already been selected and with five more places up for grabs.