COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):
Sri Lanka's cricketers have withdrawn a protest against changes made to their contracts, an official said yesterday, ending a dispute that threatened the upcoming home series against Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the players have agreed to sign the original contract offered by the board. Chief selector and former captain Sanath Jayasuriya had mediated to resolve the dispute, which arose after the board withdrew the players' share of the "guarantee fee" for participating in tournaments organised by the International Cricket Council.
The players' protest had angered the country's sports minister, who asked the cricket board to name an alternative squad for the Bangladesh series.
The cricket board said in a statement it has offered central contracts to 23 players under five categories.
Also, selectors named four uncapped players in a 16-member squad for the first Test against Bangladesh starting Friday in Galle, batsman Kithruwan Vithanage, wicketkeeper batsman Kushal Janith Perera, legspinning allrounder Jeevan Mendis and offspinner Tharindu Kaushal.
Angelo Mathews will lead Sri Lanka for the first time as captain while predecessor Mahela Jayawardene has been left out due to an injury. Senior batsman Thilan Samaraweera has been dropped after being named in the squad in place of Jayawardene. Dinesh Chandimal will be vice-captain.