Colombo, Feb 19: State-owned Bank of Ceylon has agreed to release SLRs 60 crore ($5.07 million) to Sri Lanka Cricket to pay salaries to its players, according to the sports ministry.
The cricketers have been owing match payments dating back to the end of last year's World Cup, with its cricket board unable to pay them because of SLRs 3.7 billion debt to finance the building of three cricket stadiums for the World Cup tournament.
Bank of Ceylon decided to release the funds after meetings with sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the ministry said in a statement.
The minister had ordered Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to pay the pending salaries up to the month of February by the end of the month, and added that March payments would be made on time.
“Minister Aluthgamage also in writing, had instructed the officials of SLC not to overlook contract payments in the future and Sri Lanka Cricket should take the full responsibility to ensure that the player payments are made on time in the future,” the statement said.
Sri Lanka's players were previously promised by the sports minister that their outstanding payments would be fully paid by January.
Sri Lanka's one-day team are currently playing a triangular series in Australia with India.