Mickey Arthur insists contract issues are not a distraction for Sri Lanka ahead of England white-ball series06/17/2021
Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur insists the contract issues which put their white-ball tour of England in doubt will not distract the team.
The 24-man squad agreed to play three Twenty20 internationals and a further three one-day matches over the next month with temporary contracts after the dispute escalated before they were set to fly into the UK earlier in June.
It centres on a new pay structure and incentive scheme while the number of central contracts handed out compared to last year has also reduced.
England vs Sri Lanka
June 23, 2021, 6:00pm
But Arthur, whose side are based at Emirates Old Trafford, said: “We have not mentioned it at all. It has not been on the radar.
“Since we have been here, it has just been cricket, cricket, cricket. Everybody has been mature enough to put it on the backburner and realise why we’re here so it has not been a distraction. It has not been an issue as far as I know.”
Originally Sri Lanka were due to play Kent and Sussex in warm-up matches before the series opener with England on June 23 but they were cancelled due to safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
It means intra-squad matches are the best way for Arthur’s side to prepare with Ramesh Mendis in the runs on Wednesday and another taking place on Friday.
“This is a massive challenge for our young team but a wonderful opportunity and I just want to see us progressing,” Arthur added.
“To see the players going head-to-head yesterday and competing for positions, it has certainly heightened the challenge.”
Watch England take on Sri Lanka in two white-ball series live on Sky Sports Cricket this summer, starting with the first T20 at 6pm on Wednesday June 23.
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