Chennai ban on IPL Lankans

March 26: Indian Premier League authorities today decided that Sri Lankan players would not play in this year's league matches in Chennai after Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister that they would not be allowed to.

A media release by IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said the IPL governing council took the decision because "the security of all involved... whether players, spectators or those working in the stadiums, is of paramount importance".

The Tamil Nadu chief minister's letter to Manmohan Singh had said that Sri Lankan participation would aggravate the public anger in Tamil Nadu against Colombo's alleged war crimes against Lankan Tamils.

She said her government would "permit" IPL matches in Tamil Nadu "only if the organisers provide an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches".

She asked the Centre to "advise" the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) "to prevail upon the IPL organisers" on the matter.

The ban will hit 13 Sri Lankan players signed up by eight franchises ' Kings XI Punjab being the lone exception ' for this year's IPL, to be held from April 3 to May 26. Two of them, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, are captains of their teams. (See chart)

Chennai is to stage 10 matches in all: eight Chennai Super Kings home games and two eliminators. Shukla's media release said the nine franchises would be advised about the Sri Lankan players' non-participation "in the Pepsi IPL 2013 League matches in Chennai".

It wasn't clear from the wording whether the ban covered the eliminators, too.

A PTI report said that although the franchises may agree to bench their Sri Lankan players for their league games in Chennai, they may be less keen to do so for the crucial eliminators on May 21 and 22. In that case, there may be pressure on the BCCI to change the venues for these two games.

Chennai Super Kings have two Sri Lankan players: Nuwan Kulasekara and Akila Dananjaya. At the moment it is unclear whether they will travel with the team for the away matches or have no role to play in this year's IPL at all.

Jayalalithaa had earlier refused to allow the Asian Athletic Championships to be held in Chennai in July this year citing the participation of Sri Lankans. Her latest diktat could make Tamil Nadu a no-go zone for any Sri Lankan sportsperson in the near future just as Mumbai has become out of bounds for Pakistani sportspersons courtesy the Shiv Sena.

Even during the recent India-Australia Test at Chepauk, some Tamil fringe groups had planned to show black flags to Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena, prompting the police to turn back spectators wearing black shirts or T-shirts on the first day. Many stepped out and bought India jerseys from the vendors outside before returning to the stadium.

The Jayalalithaa government, however, had allowed Sri Lankan cricketers to play IPL matches in Chennai in 2011 and 2012 even after the state Assembly had passed a resolution against Colombo and demanded an economic boycott of the island nation.

Since then, the DMK and the AIADMK have ratcheted up their competitive exploitation of the anti-Sri Lanka sentiments sweeping the state.

Last September, Jayalalithaa had sent back a Sri Lankan football team home and suspended a state official for allowing it to play a friendly match here. Her letter on IPL matches comes close on the heels of an attack on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks in the state.

See Sport

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Moores set for England recall

Moores set for England recall

The 51-year-old will succeed Andy Flower, who stepped down after five years in charge following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia in January. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »