New Delhi: Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Wednesday attacked South Indian politicians for mixing their political agendas with sports, which has forced the IPL Governing Council to withdraw Sri Lankan cricketers from the IPL 6 matches in Chennai, and urged the Sri Lankan cricketers to pull out of the tournament beginning April 3.
"Sad day for cricket in general. I personally feel South Indian politicians are drying to make their vote base for the upcoming elections. I think they should not drag sports into their political agenda. It's unfortunate that one area in India has refused to entertain Sri Lanka cricketers for the IPL organised by a private company," the former Sri Lankan captain said while talking to CNN-IBN.
Ranatunga further hinted that Sri Lankan players should think twice before going to India to play the Twenty20 league. "I think our [Sri Lankan] cricketers are intelligent on taking a decision on going to India and receiving Indian cricketers in Sri Lanka. I think public will react to this decision taken by the South Indian politicians."
The IPL Governing Council on Tuesday bowed to political pressure and withdrew Sri Lankan players from the matches in Chennai after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa refused to host them due to the anti-Sinhalese sentiments in the state.