CHENNAI: Franchises of the Indian Premier League have reportedly requested authorities to avoid scheduling matches in Chennai due to anti-Sinhala sentiments in Tamil Nadu, reports said.
The IPL board had earlier issued an informal advisory to franchises asking them to drop their Sri Lankan players for matches to be scheduled in Chennai. This was in view of rising tensions after India's perceived laxity on the recent United Nations resolution on ethnic Tamils led to two suicides in protest.
The franchises responded strongly to the directive of dropping their Lankan players for Chennai matches with a request to discard the venue altogether, rather than face a strong Super Kings team without key personnel.
Delhi Daredevils and the Hyderabad Sunrisers have Lankan skippers: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara; Mumbai Indians are spearheaded by Lasith Malinga; Pune Warriors aided by Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews; and the Royal Challengers Bangalore have Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Some would consider this an off-shoot of the problems of conflict of interest that the Chennai camp is often dogged with. Chennai is owned by India Cements, whose chairman is N. Srinivasan, who is also the BCCI president and had also held offices in the IPL.
Srinivasan's team in the IPL stands to gain directly if teams have to discard key Sri Lankan players for their Chennai matches.
The demand for a venue to be looked over, however, has a precedent. In 2009, matches were moved out of Hyderabad - then the home venue for the defunct Deccan Chargers - on account of the Telangana crisis.