Not one to restrain his thoughts, Hyderabad Sunrisers’ skipper Kumar Sangakkara reckoned sport would “transcend all pettiness”, reacting to IPL governing council’s diktat to franchisees against fielding Sri Lankan players in their Chennai Super Kings’ home fixture.
“I think India is much more than Chennai and Tamil Nadu. And, the Sri Lankan players are here,” asserted Sangakkara, who joined his team on Monday.
Moreover, he denied rumours of Sri Lankan players abstaining from the multi-million league. “We (Sri Lankans) are all excited to be back here. We are willing to travel anywhere in India. India is much more than Chennai and Tamil Nadu, and I think the rest of India has been very welcoming of us. We are here to play cricket representing Sri Lanka and also on behalf of our franchisee. I don’t think sport or cricket in particular can ever be curtailed by such prejudices,” he emphasised.
Though former Sri Lankan players such as Arjuna Ranatunga had advised them against participating in the IPL, Sangakkara reckons the scenario isn’t that grave.
“It’s been a divisive issue back home as well. But this is not a nation vs nation issue. Foreign policies are not going to be dictated by that. So, we got to put it in right perspective.”