The Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa bowled the Sri Lankans out of the Twenty 20 League in her state even before it began.
On Tuesday, she sent a letter to the Prime Minister making it clear that T20 matches would be permitted in the state only if the organisers gave an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would be allowed to participate in the matches.
Hours later, the T20 governing council and the BCCI announced their decision to drop the Sri Lankans from all Chennai matches of the sixth edition of the T20 slated to begin on April 3.
In her letter, Jayalalithaa wrote that keeping in mind the anger and antipathy in the state against the actions of the Lankan government, participation of players from that country would only “aggravate an already surcharged atmosphere”.
She was referring to the continuing outrage in the southern state against the treatment of the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.
“The governing council decided that Sri Lankan players will not participate in the T20 League matches in Chennai and will advise the nine franchises accordingly”, T20 chairman Rajeev Shukla said in Tuesday’s statement.
Shukla said the decision had been taken after factoring in the local sentiments as well as the safety and security of Sri Lankan players.
"If the local administration has given something we have to listen to that as ultimately we need the help of the state authorities to hold the tournament…We can't ignore the advice from the local administration," he said.
Altogether 13 Sri Lankan players, two of whom are captains of their respective teams, were to take part in the series.
Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam told CNN-IBN on Tuesday that the mixing of politics and sports was "very unfortunate".
(With agency inputs)