“Do the people of Chennai have a problem with Sri Lanka or do political parties in Chennai have the problem? I think we know the answer!”
The above statement by Harsha Bhogle captures the true colors of political furore over IPL matches in Chennai. Out of the blue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister sends a letter to the Prime Minister requesting to bar Sri Lankan Players, staffs and umpires from appearing in matches hosted in Chennai and in a jiffy BCCI governing council decides to give-in to these unreasonable demands.
In the first place, the letter from CM appears more to score political mileage than to do any real good. BCCI’s unwarranted hurry in giving-in to the demands is equally questionable. While the CM of Tamil Nadu should be reassuring the organizers of the safety and security; on the contrary, she proclaims that the state is incapable to host such an event. Her conclusion that Sri Lankan players participating in IPL in Chennai would aggravate an already charged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of the people is clearly stained with political colors. It is pathetic that state encourages political interference in sports. Cricket is a religion in India and it is highly unlikely that Chennai people would be offended by Sri Lankan players taking field in Chennai. Chennai has always been an outstanding host with crowd exhibiting nonpareil cricketing spirit. Chennai will now witness B teamsof IPL playing at Chennai and this would certainly aggravate their sentiments.
Chennai Super Kings(CSK) seems to get an unfair advantage, as Sri Lankan players in CSK, Nuwan Kulasekara and Akhila Dhananjaya, are only expected to play subsidiary roles(if any). Delhi Daredevils(Mahela Jayawardene), Pune Warriors(Angelo Mathews) and Sunrisers Hyderabad(Kumar Sangakkara) will have to rest their captains while playing at Chennai. Royal Challengers Bangalore will also miss out two key Lankan players Tillekeratne Dilshan and Muttiah Muralitharan. Given that N. Srinivasan’s CSK gets an edge, hints towards something fishy behind the scene.
By their own admission, Tamil Nadu has shown its inadequacy to control the situation in the state and clearly governing council should have moved the matches out of Chennai. Tomorrow, Jagadish Shettar may say that Bangalore is not happy with India’s stand in UN against SriLanka and hence Indian Players be barred from IPL. Such political requests cannot be entertained.
IPL has been very flexible in shifting the venue and has never compromised with the spirit of the game. Back in 2009, entire IPL was shifted out to South Africa due to security reasons. Later in 2010, IPL was moved out of Hyderabad due to Telangana turmoil and Deccan Chargers had to settle for new home ground. Later, semi-final was moved from Bangalore to Mumbai. Governing council committed a blunder by sticking to Chennai even if it meant leaving out Sri Lankan players.
We have set a bad example. What if it were an Olympics? Kerala would have barred Italian Players, Tamil Nadu would have barred Sri Lankan Players, Some would have barred US or Pakistan players, Shiv Sena would have barred all except Maratha Manus. Come on, grow up!!! Such poor political propaganda really hurts. Will we ever get to host Olympics or Cricket World cup if we continue to play with the spirit of the game? NEVER!!!
Its NOW or NEVER!!
Its NOW or NEVER!!