Badminton Life

Sri Lanka's Malaysian Coach Finally Gets Paid

The saga of a Malaysian coach left high and dry in Sri Lanka has ended on a happy note, with the coach in question finally getting what was owed to him.

According to the Daily Mirror, Shanker Annamalai was recruited from Malaysia to become the head coach of the Sri Lankan Badminton Association (SLBA).

However, that deal was done by the previous administration of the SLBA, which was disbanded by the government in March to be replaced by a new executive with brand new faces.

The incoming administration decided to terminate Shanker's contract, without paying him for his work in June and July of this year.

Now, according to the daily, he has been paid, thanks largely in part to the newspaper's decision to highlight his case in public.

It prompted quick action by SLBA officials. There is some speculation that the money was paid from the pocket of SLBA Chairman Ranjith de Silva because the association coffers are almost bare.

There was much hope for the future of Sri Lankan badminton when Shanker arrived in the island in January to take up a once year contract.

However, soon the Ministry of Sport, unhappy with the state of the SLBA, intervened in the body's affairs and sacked the executive.

De Silva was installed as Chairman by the Ministry in March, from which time the SLBA had struggled to pay its staff, especially Shanker.

It is believed that De Silva dug into his own pocket to pay the coach's salary until May. Shanker, who was reported to have been earning US$2,500 a month, kept on working until the end of July and was then told to return to Malaysia without pay for June and July.

Now, the debt has been settled, though whether the money came from De Silva or the SLBA remains a pertinent question.

For a while now, the SLBA has faced accusations of mis-management, which prompted the Minister of Sport to step in and remove the administration.

However, the Ministry has in turn been accused of failing to properly investigate the dealings of the previous SLBA executive. It is not known whether Shanker has returned to Malaysia or not.

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