Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has asked Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to implement reforms to the domestic cricket system, including the reduction of first-class clubs and the introduction of a five-team Super Provincial tournament.
The Minister met officials of SLC on Wednesday, where several suggestions were agreed upon, with the Minister giving SLC a March 1 deadline by which to implement these changes.
Among the list of seven suggestions was the nomination of a new cricket selection committee, the reorganization of the current domestic tournament to reduce the number of clubs with first-class status to between eight and 14 and the appointment of a team mentor, Director of Cricket and a full-time team manager.
It was also suggested to cluster Tier 1, Tier 2 and divisional clubs as part of the Super Provincial tournament.
The Minister has also asked for the re-consideration of contracts for players and coaches, to make them more incentive driven, so that “it encompasses an incentive structure based on both team and individual performance as well as consistency and disciple,” as stated in a media release issued by the Sports Ministry last night.
It was also suggested that SLC develop a mechanism to monitor and enforce discipline along with player fitness.
A further recommendation was made to appoint a cricket committee in SLC to implement and oversee local and international cricketing structure.
Former players and administrators have long called for the reduction of first-class clubs and the implementation of a strong provincial cricket tournament to improve the quality of talent produced through the domestic structure.
The Minister has come under some pressure to make changes to SLC following two Test series defeats, in South Africa and at home to England, with question marks over the discipline and fitness levels of players.