New Delhi: With just ten days to go for the high-profile Indian Premier League, the governing council of the T20 tournament is yet to take a decision on the participation of Sri Lankan players in Chennai in view of the prevailing anti-Sinhalese sentiments in Tamil Nadu.
The BCCI is monitoring the situation and is also in touch with the state government and a final decision is expected to be taken soon.
Protests have been going on various cities of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai over the UN resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes against Tamils.
There are reports that some of the IPL franchises have requested the Governing Council to drop Chennai as a venue, citing security of the Sri Lankan players.
A top IPL official, however, however, dismissed these reports as "baseless" and insisted that there was no proposal to remove Chennai as a venue.
"We are aware of the situation in Tamil Nadu and we will take a decision soon. But as of now, we are not thinking of shifting matches out of Chennai", the official said.
Altogether 13 Sri Lankan players, two of whom are captains of their respective teams, are taking part in the sixth edition of the league which will start from April 3.
The upcoming elections in Karnataka could also force the IPL to tinker with the schedule as some of the matches in Bangalore may be affected during the run-up to the election. There have been instances where a venue has been changed due to a political crisis. In 2010, at the height of the Telangana crisis in Andhra Pradesh, the IPL governing council had moved matches out of Hyderabad.
It is learnt that the Governing Council has advised the IPL franchises that they may have to leave out the Sri Lankan players when they play their matches in Chennai if the agitation continues.
But the franchises are not too happy with this suggestion as dropping Sri Lankan players for games scheduled in Chennai will definitely affect team compositions.
Sri Lankans in the IPL:
CSK: Akila Dananjaya and N Kulasekara,
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (captain) and Jeevan Mendis.
Knight Riders: Sachithra Senanayake.
Mumbai Indians: Lasith Malinga.
Pune Warriors India: Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews.
Rajasthan Royals: Kusal Janith Perera.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Muthaiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera.