Colombo, Aug 20 (IANS) All-rounder Angelo Mathews, along with three suspended players — Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis — do not figure in Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) list of 18 players offered national contracts here on Friday.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that 18 players signed the National Player Contracts, which came into effect from August 1, 2021. The new contract will be for a five-month period and will end on the December 31, 2021,” SLC said in a statement on Friday.
SLC clarified that Mathews was not in the contracted players’ list because he is “currently unavailable for selection”.
“Angelo Mathews, who was among the players offered a contract was not considered, as he is currently unavailable for selection, whilst Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis are currently serving a ban. Isuru Udana has retired from international cricket,” SLC added.
Mendis, wicketkeeper Dickwella and Gunathilaka were sent home from England for breaching bio-bubble protocols in Durham.
Reports last month had said that the 34-year-old Mathews was in discussion with SLC about his retirement plans and that the decision about his future with the national side would be revealed soon.
Mathews was not part of the Sri Lankan side that played a white-ball series against the Shikhar Dhawan-led India recently. The Sri Lankan had last played for his country during their West Indies tour earlier this year.
“The (18) players signed the contracts without any deviation from the contracts offered previously, which was formulated by Sri Lanka Cricket along with the Technical Advisory Committee. The players were chosen under four categories and were nominated by the Selection Panel, based on a set of criteria such as Performance, Fitness, Leadership/Seniority, Professionalism/Code of Conduct, and Future/Adaptability,” SLC said.
The criteria and the allocation of points to individual players were shared among the players before they signed the contracts.
Players given national contracts: Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Embuldeniya, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara and Akila Dananjaya.