The day after Tamil Nadu banned all Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches with Sri Lankan players, Sri Lankan cricketers responded...
Slamming the IPL governing council's decision to withdraw Sri Lankan cricketers from Chennai matches, the former Sri Lankan cricket captian, Arjuna Ranatunga, told Sri Lankan cricketers to "think of their country" and boycott the entire event, due to begin on 3rd April. Ranatunga asserted that playing else where in India under current circumstances would mean having "endorsed the human rights violation charges."
"... as far as cricketers are concerned I think if they can't play in south India (Chennai) they should play in other part either. I personally feel if players are not welcomed in one part of India they should not be part of any IPL,"
"The excuse that the south Indian politician gave was war crimes. And, I am sure the players should take that into consideration and think of the country and pull out from the entire Indian Premier League,"
"What most people seem to ignore is that both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi are wanting to stop Sri Lankans playing in Tamil Nadu because they accuse Sri Lanka of human rights violations. So playing in other (Indian) states while skipping Tamil Nadu is an endorsement of human rights allegations against our country,"
"Players must be made aware of this as the world will say that Sri Lankan IPL players have unwittingly endorsed the human rights violation charges,"
"I think what IPL should have done was pulled out all the matches from south India if they are so keen on Sri Lankan players participation. But, it's all political gimmick,"
Expressing disappointment at the IPL's decision, Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan claimed that he "did not have any problems as a Tamil", and invited the Indian authorities to "come and see how we are living in Sri Lanka and forget what happened in the past."
See here for what the Tamil civil society of the North-East said earlier this month on life for Tamils at present.
Speaking to NDTV, Muralitharan who currently plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore said:
“It’s a sad [day] for cricket as we are not allowed to play in a certain part of India. It is a government decision, if they cannot provide security for us, we have to be cautious,”
“I have spoken to Royal Challengers, they do not have any problems. I can play the non-Chennai games,”
“I played for 20 years in the Lankan team, I did not have any problems as a Tamil. The government and the cricket board always supported me throughout my career even when I went through a lot of problems. Earlier, there was a time of war between the Tamils and Lankans but now people are living in peace in my country. So the concerned authorities in India must come and see how we are living in Sri Lanka and forget what happened in the past. We don’t want another war-like situation now.”
“If they allow us to play, we will definitely play in Chennai. Chennai is like a second home for me as my wife Madhimalar is from there. It is a sentimental situation for me. We do not want to get into politics and we just want to play our cricket and entertain our fans.”