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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.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

I admire Sangha the batsman and cricket statesman a lot.He has been a terrific sport and has carried himself remarkably well off the field too,with a ecumenical world view and a lot of enthusiasm and passion for promoting the game.I,being an Indian,would love to see a sportsman like him play in the country.The same goes for the rest of the Lankan players and the rest of the cricket community as well.I would e'en pay some thought to having cricketers from Pak playing in the IPL.Sport is the greatest human endeavor,and the ideals of men and humanity that it stands for are transcendental and know no boundaries.In that tack,sports should not be subject to political stand-offs,or racial strife and such like.But political realities have regularly sought sports out as an instrument to achieve their ends.It's unfortunate when that happens. However that's a topic for another day.Right now,it's great news that the Sri Lankans will play in India.You are welcome here,and we love to have you here.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

why everyone is seeing this as a political issue? ..Already several groups and students are protesting in Tamil nadu.. In this situation its really not gud for the players to play in Chennai. Its for their safety.. Dnt mix politics and human emotions..

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

We already lost our Olympic status due to involvement of Politics and now Cricket. For god sake leave the games untouched from politics otherwise no one would like to join Game as No one wanna join Politics

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

sri lankans/ indians/ pakisthani/ australians/etc etc come second ... we belong to human race first... thats the philosophy of INDIA ....real INDIA....proud to be born in such a country.. ( eventhough it's torn out by various individuals/ groups for their personal/emotional regions..... INDIA is INDIA and it will always remain INDIA- a land of high values)

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

Welcome to Sri Lanka's players and supporters, Just enjoy your tour and do not worry about neighbouring state ( tamil nadu). We all are with you guys.

Posted by 777aditya on (April 2, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

It is indeed magnanimous from Sangakkara - the way he speaks, he surely has a career in politics after cricket. He is one of the few cricketers of his generation along with the evergreen MJ and Dilshan in SL, who have done their bit to ensure that SL did not slip in rankings after the exit of Jayasurya, Vaas, and Murali. Great guy to have in any team - superb wicketkeeper, batsman par excellence, and an able captain - what more can you ask?!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

Politics & cricket are different things though we have politics in cricket as well but should be dealt differently, I love to watch you and all the foriegn players in IPL inspite Pak players are not included but coashes are ): Best of luck guys play well God bless

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

Dude its a sporting events for their contribution and entertainment are paid off. This is non of your business & concern how much it is... SLB Board doesnt just pay to the SL selected players; they want best people in and win to their concern of SLCB to run with their committees. Don't tick tack with the payment. Its not a political or national issue and they are here as a Cricketers doesn't include nationality than team. I stand with Sanga's statement.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

What Sanga has forgotten is that the India did vote against SL at Geneva based on lies and ambiguity and it self is a terrible act against SL besides the fact that Sri Lanka is the only friendly nation in South Asia for them. Also The war which was prevailed was fully blessed by Indian government which is highly advantageous for Indians in many aspects.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

Sanga we salute you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE have think in the players side also!!!!!!!! They have to obey the rules and regulations of IPL. Some people in Srilanka are shouting that our players should not go IPL. Where are they????? Arjuna Ranathunge sir is saying not to go because he worrys and loves Srilanka Cricket!!!!!!!!! But other people because of political issues... they are trying to be bosses infront of Srilankans!!!!!!!! Come on players! Wish you all the best!!!!!!! Play well...........

Posted by TRIN999 on (April 2, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

Sanga .... Thanks for the commitment to cricket Really India is much more than Chennai/Tamilnadu

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

Sanga, your logical comments are indeed correct. Its not a nation versus nation issue, I agreed. However, if the payment of IPL is less than your monthly salary paid by SLC, will you play for IPL? Then your logical comments will be different. Money comes front in life but money is not the life.

Posted by AsangaBandara on (April 2, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Sri Lankan cricketers are professionals. Unless there is a national policy change regarding India , they are honor bound to complete their contracts.

On the other hand the best way to show the world that we are unaffected by the petty politics of Thamilnadu is by being professional.

So Hats off to Sanga and all the rest of the SL cricketers. We are always with you ..

Posted by santosh.singh on (April 2, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

if that was such a big deal then trade between both country should be stoped first .there is no reason to stop players to contribute in sports .it is just politics to get tamil votes . sanga we welcome u with love .... eager to watch u .....

Posted by Mahaanama on (April 2, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

If SL players decided to boycott IPL it could have been a big win for politicians who tries to get political advantages by grabbing politics to sport. Now those politicians would feel like their efforts went in vain. It's a big win for the spirt of the game.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2013, 3:26 GMT)

I don't believe playing in IPL something call Spirit of Cricket.... IPL money making spots... Money is talking sanga....let's enjoy with IPL and Money....this season also you guys lineup button of the of luck for that....

Posted by jango_moh on (April 1, 2013, 23:09 GMT)

nothing but respect to you sanga... from an indian fan!!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Well played Sanga as usual.There is nothing wrong with playing in the rest of India and getting paid for it. SL cricketers are professionals who have to earn a living engaging in their trade which is playing cricket.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Money talks every where....... :) Good luck........

Posted by Nuwan_R on (April 1, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

These players are playing in India earning US dollars and spending some of that in SL, bringing in much needed foreign currency. People complaining about money doesn't seem to realise that.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

thanks for being apolitical in spite of all the politics in the sport. Play cricket - regardless of what politicians say be it from Chennai, Tamil nadu, Colombo or Delhi.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (April 1, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

eagerly waiting to see sanga's batting....

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

Wow great

Posted by N_Fernando on (April 1, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

@Jay Kumar I agreed. I will wait till some one who could answer Jay Kumar.. as Sri Lankan we will support all the SL players who representing IPL.. GO guys make us prod as you guys always does..ignore the one cents comments...

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (April 1, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Cricketers are professionals. They earn their living by entertaining us. When does earning money become a crime? I heard that Srilanka cricketers played for their country without any pay for considerable length of time. I don't know much about politics, but I am glad BCCI has found the solution to current problem and welcome Srilankan players. IPL will be poorer without them.

Posted by spas on (April 1, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

IPL is the worst thing happened to cricket. Gayle, KP, Malinga had big disputes with their respective c boards bcauae if it. is ipl worth to have a window in world cricket? It kills talents of many young players. Icc should decide between money and the future of cricket.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

I am FED UP with too many people here whining about money this, money that. How many of you work for FREE everyday in your lives ? Why not go and 'serve' your countries by contributing towards the economy for free ? Come back with a convincing answer. I am waiting.

Posted by CricketFanInCA on (April 1, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

@Sangakarra JFYI - Sunrisers(the team you are going to play or expect to play) owned by Tamilnadu Franchise(SUN TV Network).. lol

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

money talks! simple as that. nonetheless a fine player.

Posted by Jay.Raj on (April 1, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

my only question to Sanga and who supports his decision based on his ethics of cricket: will you play in IPL if you weren't paid by the franchises and treated like a regular cricket match? He might have convinced everyone on his stance, but the main reason as "@seantells" pointed out, its money!! if it was a regular match he might have changed his decision, I think.

Posted by seantells on (April 1, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

yeah you made your point, but truth is it is nothing but about business and Sangakkara is a smart businessman

Posted by nayonika on (April 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

very correct stance taken by a very correct cricketer. well said sanga!

Posted by on (April 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

As an Indian and a sports lover i do feel bad for the decision taken by TN govt , hope the Sri Lankan players understand that this is just vote bank politics by politicians ,we Indians love all of you , all the best for IPL

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Very well said Sanga...i have always admired SL cricket team....

Posted by   on (April 1, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Some people back home trying to brand those who decided to play IPL '13 as traitors. Sanga's these comments will be very useful for them and the rest of the cricket loving Sri Lankans. One clear indication that SL cricketers are welcome in India is the fact that 3 of the teams are captained by SL cricketers, also Matthews' appointment coming amidst the tension.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (April 1, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

Well said gentle classy legend.hope you will rock on IPL.

Posted by ravi2047 on (April 1, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

Respect to my home team 'Sunrisers' captain. :) I still feel the IPL matches should have been moved out of Chennai. Now CSK get an advantage, they are not even ashamed to claim it. Money is quite powerful actually. :/

Posted by KingOwl on (April 1, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

Good comments, Sanga. I think it is worth highlighting that this issue about TN is not between SL and India. I think despite some vocal opposition among some of the SL fans and ex-cricketers, most of us support the IPL and think of Indian cricket as a friend of SLC. Besides, as Sanga had implied, we know that Indian cricketers get along exceptionally well with SL cricketers (thus, 3 IPL captains from SL!), and also that we always support each other when playing a third country (most of the time, at least!!). In such a context, the TN situation is a rather unfortunate, to say the least. Good luck with the IPL!

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