Three Sri Lankan cricketers have refuted a recent media report claiming that they are planning to migrate to the USA for professional cricket.
The Morning had reported that a large number of Sri Lanka national and first-class cricketers are planning to migrate to USA for professional cricket, sending shockwaves to the country’s cricket future.
Commenting on the report, Sri Lankan cricketers Upul Tharanga, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dushmantha Chameera refuted the report.
The cricketers told NewsWire that they have not planned to leave Sri Lanka to represent another country.
Malinda Pushpakumara told NewsWire, that he had received an offer last year to represent USA for professional cricket. He said however, he had rejected the offer.
The news article, quoting an inside source said, “A lot of players will soon go to America. It will happen in two categories, as emerging and national. National player Shehan Jayasuriya has already gone. Around 15 more to follow him by March”.
It further said the players who are to retire and migrate to play for USA soon include allegedly leading players such as Upul Tharanga, Dushmantha Chameera, Amila Aponso, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dilshan Munaweera, Lahiru Madushanka, Manoj Sarathchandra and Nishan Peiris.
“After the cricket board’s recent proposal to reduce money and not to extend our (second-level squads’) annual contracts, many players are planning to go. They are paid a minimum of $ 50,000 (approximately Rs. 9.7 million) per year in the US. USA is presently hiring players from various Test countries to form a good national side,” The Morning Sports reported citing an SLC emerging category player, who has applied to go to USA to play professional cricket there.
The report went on to quote the player as stating that “there will be a major player exodus happening. There is no strong future that is assured for us here in Sri Lanka”.
Sri Lankan cricketers Upul Tharanga, Malinda Pushpakumara, and Dushmantha Chameera whose names were mentioned in the article, told NewsWire that the report was completely false.