Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials on Wednesday raised concerns over the safety of its national players who are to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament next month following the recent spate of attacks against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu.
The Sri Lanka Cricket Players' Association (SLCPA) has written to its parent organisation, the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA), to assess the safety of its players during the IPL, starting April 3, and to determine a course of action that will ensure the cricketers' safety, Xinhua reports. The IPL matches will be played in several key Indian cities, including Chennai, where tensions against Sri Lankans have risen after two Buddhist monks and several Sri Lankan tourists were assaulted by Tamil groups.
SLCPA chairman Ken de Alwis said that the association was awaiting a response from FICA. Following a rise in the number of incidents of violent assaults against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan government Tuesday requested all its nationals to exercise caution when undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu.
In the event of urgent visits, Sri Lankan nationals were requested by the government to keep the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai informed well in advance. Sri Lanka's national airline also announced on Tuesday that it was halving the number of flights to south India following the incidents. Sri Lankan Airlines said it had observed a drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo due to recent developments in Tamil Nadu, hence it decided to reduce frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week.
Ten IPL matches are scheduled to be played in Chennai.