Sri Lanka Cricket has taken note of multiple retirements in recent times within the national men’s set-up. Fearing that there could be more players following suit, the board has come with a three-part directory and guidelines for players wishing to part ways from international cricket to pursue their careers elsewhere.
As per the guidelines, SLC will now ask players a three-month prior notice from players intending to bid adieu to the international game.
The board has also made it mandatory that retired players will have to go through a six-month waiting period before becoming eligible for a no-objection certificate to play in T20 leagues around the world.
Further, if such players wish to continue their association with Lanka Premier League T20, they must play 80% of domestic matches in a season.
The decision has been taken to protect the strength and depth of the domestic game in Sri Lanka, basically avoiding a situation where there is a rapid talent exodus from the set-up that is already hurting from maladministration and weak first-class and List A competitions.
Specifically, the SLC has gauged the mood within the system through the recent retirement moves by Danushka Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa. While Gunathilaka has retired from Tests, Rajapaksa has called time on his international career entirely.
Speculations have been rife that more players could follow suit. This has led to rumours and unsubstantiated reports, one of which was called out by young promising batter Avishka Fernando over social media, denying any possibility of him calling it quits at the international stage.
While the new guidelines are not yet officially part of the players’ national contracts with SLC, board CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that they will be added to the new contracts that will be issued from February. The existing contractual period was scheduled to be over in December but was extended to the end of January.