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He said the SLC had told the players they were "prepared to pay them 67 percent of the total earnings" and that unless they signed the contracts they would not be selected to play in the series against Bangladesh. A meeting on Sunday between senior players and the selection committee ended with conflicting reports of its outcome.
Ultimatum to players
Ranatunga said the SLC had given the players a new ultimatum. "The (next) selection committee meeting is scheduled for Monday 10 a.m. and by that time if they have not returned the signed contracts they would not be selected to play in the series against Bangladesh," Ranatunga said.
A senior player who spoke on condition of anonymity said the players had not demanded a pay hike but were opposing SLC's move to cut their terms.
Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, however, said the dispute had been settled. "The matter is resolved for sure. (The) players through Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal agreed to sign the contracts," he told reporters without elaborating on details.
A similar pay dispute threatened to derail last year's Sri Lanka Premier League after the players said they would pull out of the tournament.
In the latest dispute, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the SLC would select a whole new team if the players did not sign the contracts.
"The players are demanding 75 percent of the total revenue and if that is to be paid Sri Lanka Cricket will have to obtain a loan of 600 million rupees ($4.70 million)," Aluthgamage said.
Before Jayasuriya met the players, SLC president Upali Dharmadasa had made it clear that the players would not have their way.
"We spoke to all of the players present at the meeting, and gave our viewpoints. We have said, 'Nothing doing. We're going to stick to our guns.' It ended like that. They will not be getting any facilities that Sri Lanka Cricket has been offering them, including, physios, masseurs and coaches. They can't come for practice at our venues."
Players at war: Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kushal Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Chanaka Welegedara, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara.