Ranatunga urges Sri Lanka players to boycott IPL
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has asked Sri Lankan cricketers to put their pride before money and boycott this season's IPL unless they are allowed to play at all venues.
"If you are not welcome in one part of the country then why play in other venues just because of the money," Ranatunga asked.
He was speaking to the Indian Express in response to the IPL governing council's decision to bar Sri Lankan players from playing in Chennai, because of growing political tensions in Tamil Nadu stemming from the treatment of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Ranatunga, currently a Member of Parliament for Kalutara district in Sri Lanka, said he believed this decision was nothing more than politics and sport being intertwined, and that cricketers were easy prey because of the fan following and media scrutiny they deal with on a daily basis.
"It won't be easy for players to say no to their pay cheques but at times one has to stand up and say 'no thank you' rather than compromise for the sake of money," he said. "Sri Lankan cricketers are not as well-paid as some of their counterparts and playing in the IPL is a huge attraction but by giving the tournament a skip they make a statement."
He said the decision would be a loss only for the IPL, as the tournament would be without some of the best players from Sri Lanka.