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'Spirit of cricket won't be curtailed by such prejudice' - Sangakkara

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 1, 2013

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara at the launch of the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League, Colombo, July 16, 2012
Kumar Sangakkara: "Had it been a nation versus nation issue then Sri Lankan players would not have been here" Manoj Ridimahaliyadda / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Players/Officials: Kumar Sangakkara
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, has said the decision to exclude Sri Lankan players from the IPL matches in Chennai will not "curtail" the spirit of cricket. The players, he said, continue to feel "very welcome" in other parts of India.

"Politics in this case has restricted our presence, our belief to play in every part of India. But I don't think sports and spirit of cricket is ever going to be curtailed by such prejudice," Sangakkara told PTI. "The build-up has been different and difficult for Sri Lankan players. But at the end of the day they are here to play IPL."

"The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has made it clear that no Sri Lankan players will be [playing] in Chennai. [But] India is much more than Chennai and Tamil Nadu, and I think the rest of India has been very welcoming of us."

The IPL's governing council decided that the matches in Chennai will not feature any Sri Lankan cricketers or match officials, following growing political tensions, stemming from the treatment of certain ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Responding to comments from former players stating that the Sri Lankans should boycott the IPL due to the restrictions, Sangakkara said: "It has been a divisive issue back home as well. But this is not a nation versus nation issue. It's only a state... and I don't think it is the entire state [Tamil Nadu].

"So, we've got to put it in the right perspective. Foreign policies are not going to be dictated by that and had it been a nation versus nation issue then Sri Lankan players would not have been here."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by maddy20 on (April 7, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

@ SarfBD Reg: Isolating cricket and politics, tell that to the Victims of 26/11. Its not un-natural for humans to have emotion. If you think that politicians barred the Pak players from participating, then you can't be more wrong. Its the general sentiment of the Indian public and I would be a fool if I deny the fact that I share the same sentiment. As for SL players , I think its most unfortunate. The people of TN had no right to poke into issues that were privy to SL. UN is dealing with it so they should have just stayed put!

Posted by yorkslanka on (April 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

to all those belittling our players going to the IPL, you talk about them putting money first, let me ask you, do you go to work for free? Everyone needs to earn money to live irrespective of how much they earn already..if there was no salary involved, i certainly wouldnt turn up to work the next day...

Posted by SarfBD on (April 3, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

You can say all day that cricket should be separated from politics or cricketers/boards should not prefer money over cricket/nation and bla bla bla. But the truth is you can't deny that both money and politics are integral part of cricket today. Pakistani players were banned from IPL. Why? Politics. Boards banned players for participating in ICL. But if any player prefers IPL over national duty, do you think board can do anything? No. Why? Money and power. So, get used to it. If you deny this, you are living in a dream!

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

to all those People claiming "Dont mix politics in the game "........where have you all been when Pakistan players are banned from IPL? where went your so called "spirit of cricket " in that issue??

Posted by ex-Srilankan on (April 2, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

The IPL was already politicized while back by the exclusion of Pakistani players.

Posted by British_North_America on (April 2, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Respect to Sangakara but one correction: 'Spirit of payment cheque won't be curtailed by such prejudice'.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

Words can't describe how wrong this is...

Posted by chaitu_7 on (April 2, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

Take the games out of Chennai and let them be played in say, Kochi or Vizag..... this will take care of the issue... let CSK have those two grounds as their home base...

Posted by shinewindies on (April 2, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

I am an Indian and i love my country and cricket and i love all the the people of my country be it from any state.

Simple fact is:

Srilankan players should play anywhere they want to in India with proper security and humanatarin values in place.

All war crimes in Srilanka should be investigated and bring justice to people who deserve it.

I dont know why these two simple things cant happen.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

There is nothing these players can do. They are to represent Srilanka on perspective of sportsmen with no political influence. It is clear enough for all that the cause of this controversy is a political issue between Thamilnadu and SL. India's vote against SL in geneva is not either a matter of fact for this case.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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