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New Delhi: The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday decided to keep Sri Lanka cricketers out of Chennai in view of the opposition from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
This decision will make the players from the island-nation skip the matches to be held in Chennai in view of the security concerns in Tamil Nadu over the atrocities carried out against ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka during the war against Tamil Tigers that ended in May 2009.
"The Governing Council decided that Sri Lankan players will not participate in the Pepsi IPL 2013 League matches in Chennai and will advise the nine franchises accordingly. The Governing Council met this afternoon to discuss the issue. The security of all involved in the IPL, whether players, spectators or those working in the stadiums, is of paramount importance to the BCCI," said IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla in a press statement.
"This is with reference to news reports last week that the government of Sri Lanka has issued a travel advisory that its citizens should exercise caution when travelling to Tamil Nadu. Today, the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has written to the Prime Minister of India stating that she will not permit the participation of Sri Lankan players or umpires in matches in Chennai during Pepsi IPL 2013."
Earlier, Shukla, also the union minister of state for parliamentary affairs, had said that the local administration's advice cannot be ignored but the IPL matches were not to be shifted out of Chennai.
Jayalalithaa, in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had stated that the state government will permit IPL matches only if the organisers promise that no Sri Lankan player, umpire, official or support staff will participate.
Street protests had taken place in Tamil Nadu to denounce the Sri Lankan government for the killings of Tamil civilians in the war against the Tamil Tigers in the emerald nation.
Eight of the nine IPL franchises have 13 Sri Lankans in their roster while Chennai, home to Super Kings, were scheduled to host 10 IPL matches this season. Ten Sri Lankan players, barring Chennai Super Kings Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Kulasekara, will be missing just one match, the away encounter in Chennai. Dananjaya and Kulasekara, however, will me missing around eight home matches of Super Kings.
Jeevan Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene will playing for Delhi Daredevils, Sachithra Senanayake for Kolkata Knight Riders, Lasith Malinga for Mumbai Indians, Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews for Pune Warriors, Kusal Janith Perera for Rajasthan Royals, Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan for Royal Challengers, and Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera for Hyderabad Sunrisers.
Jayawardene will captain Daredevils while Sangakkara will lead Sunrisers.