Rethinking the Pay Structure for Sri Lankan Cricketers: A Call for Reform
Posted on June 13th, 2024

Sasanka De Silva Pannipitiya.

The recent performance of the Sri Lankan cricket team at the T20 World Cup in the USA has sparked widespread disappointment and debate among fans and critics alike.

Many argue that the players have become complacent and corrupted by the high salaries they receive, despite their lacklustre performances.

This raises an important question: Should the remuneration of Sri Lankan cricketers be aligned more closely with the economic conditions of the country?

The Current Scenario

Sri Lankan cricketers enjoy considerable financial benefits, including high salaries, allowances, and fully covered expenses for travel, accommodation, food, laundry, and healthcare.

These benefits are provided by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the governing body for cricket in the country.

In contrast, some of the nation’s highest-ranking officials, such as the Chief Justice and the Governor of the Central Bank, do not receive comparable compensation.

This disparity prompts a critical examination of the justification for such high payments to cricketers.

The Case for Revising Cricketers’ Salaries

Economic Context

Sri Lanka is currently facing significant economic challenges.

In such a context, it seems incongruous for cricketers to receive exorbitant salaries when many other vital sectors are underfunded.

Aligning the salaries of cricketers with the country’s economic reality could reflect a more equitable distribution of resources.

Performance-Based Compensation

High salaries should ideally correlate with high performance.

However, if cricketers’ performances are not meeting expectations, their remuneration should reflect this.

A performance-based pay structure could incentivise players to strive for excellence and ensure that they are rewarded commensurately for their contributions on the field.

Comparative Value of Roles

The roles of the Chief Justice and the Governor of the Central Bank are highly technical and require extensive expertise, experience, and dedication.

These positions have a direct impact on the country’s governance, legal framework, and economic stability.

While cricket is a source of national pride and entertainment, the responsibilities of these high-ranking officials are arguably more critical to the nation’s welfare.

Therefore, it is reasonable to question why cricketers should receive higher compensation than these key public servants.

A Proposed Pay Structure

To address these concerns, a revised pay structure for Sri Lankan cricketers could be implemented.

This could include:

Daily Allowances:

Paying a daily allowance of LKR 15,000 for overseas settings and LKR 10,000 for local settings.

This ensures that players are fairly compensated for their time and effort without receiving disproportionately high salaries.

Performance Bonuses:

Introducing performance bonuses based on individual and team achievements.

This could include rewards for winning matches, scoring centuries, taking wickets, and other significant contributions.

Basic Salary Adjustment:

Reducing the basic salaries of cricketers to align more closely with the economic conditions of the country, while still ensuring they are adequately compensated for their skills and dedication.

Attracting Talent and Preserving National Pride

Some may argue that lower salaries could deter talented players from pursuing cricket as a career.

However, the honor and prestige of representing the country should be a primary motivator.

Many young, talented players would still aspire to play for Sri Lanka, driven by national pride rather than purely financial incentives.


Revising the salary structure of Sri Lankan cricketers is not about diminishing their importance or contributions.

It is about ensuring fairness, accountability, and alignment with the country’s economic conditions.

By adopting a more balanced approach to remuneration, Sri Lanka can foster a more dedicated and performance-driven cricket team while ensuring that resources are allocated more equitably across all sectors.

This call for reform, if heeded, could restore the pride and performance of Sri Lankan cricket to its former glory.

Sasanka De Silva

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