New Delhi, Apr 1: When questioned about the controversy regarding the participation of the Sri Lankan players in the IPL beginning on Wednesday, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said that the BCCI had taken a middle path by taking into the consideration the sentiments of the State (Tamil Nadu) government as well as the security of the players.
"Our decision was not taken under pressure from (TN Chief Minister) Jayalalithaa. We cannot jeopardise the lives of Lankan players. The most important concern is the safety of Lankan cricketers. We had to take a middle path by protecting the players and also respecting Tamil sentiment. Chief Ministers are responsible for the law and order of their states," said Shukla, who is the IPL chairman.
"And we can't change venues in short notice. We would have needed two months to shift venue, two months to prepare pitches. So we cannot shift matches outside Chennai. It's not that people don't want IPL matches to be held there.
"They only want Lankan players out of Chennai matches. When the Sri Lankan Board has accepted the condition, nobody should have a problem. We cannot ignore Tamil sentiment," he said.
The BCCI had decided not to allow franchises to field Sri Lankan players in the IPL matches to be held in Chennai after TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa refused to host them in view of the anti-Lankan feelings in the state.