It is sad when politics and sport is mixed and the decision of the Tamil Nadu chief minister to push for barring Sri Lankan players who are part of the Indian Premier League from playing matches in Chennai is nothing but a shrewd political game.
There is international concern over human rights violation of Sri Lankan Tamils,but it is not right for governments to drag sportsmen into this issue with the aim of trying to appease their respective vote banks.
I believe that the chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithas decision to urge the government at the centre to bar Sri Lankan players,umpires or support staff from playing IPL matches in Chennai is a ploy to try and gain an upper-hand over her political rivals rather than any genuine concern for Sri Lankan Tamils. Will the Tamil Nadu government stop businessmen from the state pursuing their interest in Sri Lanka?
Cricketers have always been easy targets because anything relating to them creates a lot of news. But barring Sri Lankan cricketers from playing in a Twenty20 league is not going to help resolve any issue.
In such a scenario,my advice to Sri Lankan cricketers would be to put their pride over money and boycott the Indian Premier League unless they are allowed to play at all venues.
If you are not welcome in one part of the country then why play in other venues just because of the money.
It wont be easy for players to say no to their pay cheques but at times one has to stand up and say no thank you rather than compromise for the sake of money. Sri Lankan cricketers are not as well-paid as some of their counterparts and playing in the IPL is a huge attraction but by giving the tournament a skip they make a statement.
However,the final call has to be taken by the Sri Lankan cricketers. The IPL will be poorer if some of the best players from Sri Lankans do not participate in the tournament or are not allowed to play at all the venues.
as told to nihal koshie