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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Sri Lankan players in IPL matches in Chennai

The big bash extravaganza incidentally the game of Cricket – IPL 2013 is set to begin on Apr 3 with the defending champ Kolkatta Knight Riders taking on Delhi Daredevils ~ 72 preliminary matches + 4 culminating in finals on May 26 ~ the event sure is to attract millions of viewers…. Raipur and Ranchi will make debuts as IPL host cities in the 2013 edition.

Max, the exclusive broadcaster of the Indian Premier League, is all set to launch its new marketing campaign for Pepsi IPL 2013 titled ‘Sirf Dekhneka Nahi’. The campaign comes from the insight that cricket is not just a game in this country but a passion that moves every Indian to get up to celebrate and dance and there is news that    BCCI’s million-dollar tournament Indian Premier League (IPL), broadcasters are finding it tough to find advertisers for the tournament.  According to news in press the advertising slot rates have gone down to as less as Rs 4-4.5 lakh for per ten seconds decreasing by close to 20%...

IPL – Cricket & Politics are not away ~ this time, much has been happening even before the first ball is delivered.  South Africa allrounder Wayne Parnell's participation in IPL 2013 is in no doubt, according to his franchise Pune Warriors, despite him being one of 35 "wanted" foreign nationals for allegedly testing positive for recreational drugs following a police raid on a party in Mumbai last year. Parnell's IPL team-mate, Punjabi legspinner Rahul Sharma, who had also reportedly consumed drugs at the party, is also "supposed to join the squad as per schedule", Parnell and Sharma were among 90 people detained following the party at a hotel in the Juhu suburb of Mumbai on May 20 last year, a day after Pune Warriors' IPL 2012 campaign ended.

In IPL there is no place for Pakistan after 26/11 but that applies only for Pak players ~ not for commentators, match officials and coaches. Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan fast bowler, is to join  Sunrisers Hyderabad as a bowling consultant for the 2013 IPL season.

With so much of political tension in Tamilnadu, it had its impact on IPL too. During the test against Australia  the presence of Kumara Dharmasena was questioned in some quarters now it is of the  participation of Sri Lanka players in IPL.  The political fallout of the issue has led to the DMK, a Tamil Nadu-based party, pulling its ministers out of the federal coalition government in New Delhi and threatening its future. There have been at least two reported attacks on Sri Lankan tourists in Tamil Nadu in the past few days and Sri Lanka's foreign ministry has asked its nationals visiting Tamil Nadu to exercise caution. The fear is that the controversy will snowball and put players at risk.  It is official now, matches in Chennai will not feature any Sri Lankan cricketers or match officials, the league's governing council said after a meeting on Tuesday. It said the decision was taken keeping in mind security concerns in Chennai.

Meantime, the State CM has written to PM in unequivocal terms that in a hostile and tense environment, the participation of lankan players will aggravate an already surcharged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of the people."  N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, has said the concerns surrounding the participation of Sri Lankan players in the IPL was an "operational issue" and would be handled accordingly.  The lankan players in the fray are :
Nuwan Kulasekara and Akila Dananjaya (Chennai Super Kings); Mahela Jayawardene and Jeevan Mendis (Delhi Daredevils); Sachithra Senanayake (Kolkata Knight Riders); Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians); Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews (Pune Warriors); Kushal Janith Perera (Rajasthan Royals); Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan (Royal Challengers Bangalore); Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Tamilnadu is seeing students agitations and more over the genocide and calling for action against Mahinda Rajapaksa.  Recently, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the attendant Leaders' Retreat, scheduled to be held in Colombo this November, to demand action on Sri Lanka. As a nation aspiring for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, India has a duty to uphold the values of democracy and human rights, particularly in its immediate neighbourhood, Jayalalithaa said.

In the tense situation prevailing, students who took part in the protests to seek justice for victims of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka said they did not want anything to do with anybody from the island nation, including cricket players, given the current situation. Many hold the view that if cricket bodies all over the world could boycott South Africa for practising apartheid, obviously there is nothing wrong with Jayalalithaa refusing permission to Sri Lankan cricketers playing in Chennai.

Three seasons ago at the time of the Telangana agitation, despite the Andhra Pradesh government promising full security, then IPL commissioner Lalit Modi unilaterally shifted all IPL matches out of Hyderabad. The rest of India may not see this in the same way Tamil Nadu sees; the political parties have no way out than target the IPL as parties vie to pitch themselves to be the champions of Tamil cause.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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