Posted on: March 19, 2013

Are Lankans safe in Chennai during IPL? No threat says Rajiv Shukla

By Supriyo Das

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Are Lankans safe in Chennai during IPL? No threat says Rajiv Shukla

Delhi Daredevils skipper Mahela Jayawardene and former Deccan Chargers skipper Kumara Sangakkara among 13 top Lankans to be in action in T20 league from next month. IPL-6 is all set to being in the first week of April and all the players will be in action for almost a month. Maximum interest has already been evoked from all quarters will soft drink major Pepsi handling the sponsorship activities. The elite tournament, which was sponsored by DLF previously has already been a major success with several other leagues following suit not just in the country but across the world as well.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials have ruled out any possible threat to Sri Lankan cricketers in the upcoming Indian Premier League in the wake of the increasing anti-Sri Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu. Several media reports indicated Lankan players would be asked to stay away from the southern city. Ever since BBC has leaked the story about the gory killing of LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s son, there have been rising protests internationally under humanitarian grounds. Protesters back home especially in Tamil Nadu have already been on the upsurge.

Concerns have been raised from some quarters because of the fact that some matches will be held in Chennai as well. Though there is uncertainty looming large over the security of the players’ security, the official assurance that came from IPL chief Shukla comes as a major reprieve in disgust.

However, Mr. Shukla also says that Sri Lankan players faced no threats heading into the IPL. It is necessary to be proactive instead of spreading rumors, which will tarnish the image of the major cricket league unnecessarily.

"If there were any problems to arise during the tournament, it would be dealt with at that time," Shukla said.

Thirteen Sri Lankan cricketers play for the nine IPL franchises. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara captain the Delhi Daredevils and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively. Pune Warriors have two Lankans in their ranks with spinner Ajantha Mendis and all-rounder Angelo Mathews.

The recent twin blasts in Hyderabad is a case to consider during which several people have lost their lives. Now, people feel that such incidents might extend to other cities as well when the IPL will be on full swing.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) too would be affected if the Lankans remained away as they have Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillekaratne Dilshan in their squad. Lasith Malinga spearheads the Mumbai Indians' pace battery who has proved to be crucial in the team’s success with numerous magical spell in the past. Definitely, the IPL will lose some of its sheen in case the talented and experienced Lankans prefer to stay away.

It has to be remembered that the Lankans arrived a major mishap by a whisker when team bus came under the siege of terrorists. After that close shave, almost other cricketing nation has severed ties with Pakistan by rejecting to the country’s proposal to play there.

Earlier in February, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had annulled the Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Chennai in July, clearing that Lankan players had no place in the state.

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