Umpire Hariharan orders dog off pitch in IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Cape Town
Umpire Hariharan orders dog off pitch in IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Cape TownREUTERS/Mike Hutchings

With Tamil Nadu government making it clear that it would not allow Sri Lankan players to play India Premier League (IPL) matches in the state, organizers of the tournament must be in dilemma as ten games are scheduled to play in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha has written a letter to the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, informing the centre that the state government will not allow IPL matches involving Sri Lankans to be played in the state, arguing that their participation could hurt the sentiments of the Tamilians.

"In view of the popular antipathy and anger in Tamil Nadu against the actions of the government of Sri Lanka, the state government is of the view that IPL matches involving Sri Lankan players, umpires and other officials should not be played in Tamil Nadu," Jayalalitha said in a letter to the PM.

"We will permit IPL matches to be held in Tamil Nadu, only if organizers provide an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff participate in these matches."

The move came after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) withdrew support to Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government last week over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The party said that the centre failed to amend the UN resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes committed against the Tamilians.

IPL Commissioner Rajiv Shukla said that the organizers will review the situation and advise the Sri Lankan players. He added that the organizers can't ignore the advice of the local administration.

Possible Outcomes of Tamil Nadu's Demand to Drop Sri Lankan Players in Matches at Chennai:-

1)      IPL organizers might ask all the franchises not to field Sri Lankan players in matches played in Tamil Nadu owing to objection by the state government.

2)      IPL organizers might call off all the matches scheduled to play in Tamil Nadu.

3)      Sri Lankan Cricket Board could ask its players to return home citing security reasons.

4)      Sri Lankan players could voluntarily not play in Chennai.

5)      Indian government could provide more security to ensure that Sri Lankan players play in Chennai too.

A total of 10 matches are scheduled to be played in Chennai in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League which is starting on 3 April. The first match in Chennai is on 6 April between CSK and Mumbai Indians.

Tamil activists have threatened to disrupt games involving Sri Lankan players, and this has become a matter of worry but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that it has no plan to shift the matches out of Chennai.

The fact is, eight of the nine IPL teams have Sri Lankan players. Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Kulasekara in Chennai Super Kings; Lasith Malinga in Mumbai Indians; Jeevan Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene in Delhi Daredevils; Kusal Janith Perera in Rajasthan Royals; Sachithra Senanayake in Kolkata Knight Riders; Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews in Pune Warriors; Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan in Royal Challengers; and Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera in Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The decision of the Tamil Nadu government will not only give headache to the IPL officials but also to a couple of teams that are led by Sri Lankan players. If matches are played in Chennai as scheduled by not fielding Sri Lankan players, IPL teams like Delhi Daredevils, which is led by Jayawardene, and Sunrisers Hyderabad led by Sangakkara, will have to play with substitute captains.

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