IPL 6 has been in highlight this year for not only its staggering auctions and lavish open ceremony, but also the controversial decision of BCCI submitting to the demands of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha to not allow any of the Sri Lanka players or officials in Chennai. Anyhow, Indian cricket has been a breeding ground of politics and politicking in the past with big political names vying for the position of President in BCCI or other state level cricket boards.
The ban of Sri Lankan players is sad as cricket has lost and politics has won. But let us focus on the real issue for a while, which is atrocities committed by Sri Lankan military on Tamils in their state. The situation is no doubt worse with press freedom not restored and the involvement of politics in judiciary. An increasing resentment in Indian Tamils shares their roots with Sri Lankan Tamils. Few weeks back, two Sri Lankan Buddhist monks were beaten up badly by Tamils followed by Tamil government’s wilful lack of ability to provide security to Sri Lankan players in the state.
However, what have we done on the ground level that would actually solve the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils? What steps have we taken at diplomatic and humanitarian level to ease the situation? Being a superpower in South Asian region, can’t our country apply political and diplomatic pressure to stop this violence and to assist government in Sri Lanka to restore order? The lack of will of our governments in this regard is clearly visible and the only possible solution that people see now is beating up Sri Lankans in India and banning Sri Lankans players.
Banning Sri Lankan players will be a huge loss for the franchises that have two or more Sri Lankan players in their team. The biggest disadvantage is to Chennai Super Kings itself, as most of its matches will be played in Chennai itself. The impact of Sri Lankan players in this year’s IPL cannot be undermined as they are captaining three of the nine teams which include Mahela Jayewardene for Delhi Daredevils, Angelo Matthews for Pune Warriors India and Kumar Sangakkara for Sunriser Hyderabad. However, the future doesn’t seem very bright for Sri Lankan players in IPL as franchises may hesitate to further bid for them in the future.
It is unfortunate as the game that brought people together from different parts of the world will fall victim to hatred.