Amid opposition to Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Chennai in view of raging protests over Cauvery issue, Tamil film star Rajinikanth on Sunday said it would be good if organisers stopped the games in the city as such a gala event would be embarrassing when the entire Tamil Nadu was agitating.
Alternatively, he suggested Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team players play wearing black bands as a mark of expressing the anguish of people who have been staging protests demanding setting up of Cauvery Management Board.
In a strong message to Rajnikanth, though, the Chennai police has requested the BCCI to not allow anyone wearing black clothes to enter the Chepauk stadium during the IPL match. The Chennai police has assured IPL authorities that they will provide a second layer of security as the threat of protestors turning up in large numbers looms.
A fringe leader in Tamil Nadu has now warned CSK players to avoid IPL matches, saying he isn’t responsible if something were to happen to them.
On Sunday Rajnikanth had called for a boycott of the IPL by the Chennai public. “Playing IPL matches here when whole of Tamil Nadu is agitating for Cauvery (management board) will be an embarrassment,” he told reporters here referring to the opposition from different quarters to the event.
“If they (organisers) stop, it is good. If not, at least to express the anguish of people of Tamil Nadu, members of the Chennai Super Kings team may wear black band… the message will get noticed countrywide. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), IPL authorities and the owners of Chennai Super Kings should extend their cooperation by allowing the players to wear the black bands,” he added.
Rajinikanth also appealed to the fans to wear dress in black while watching the matches here to extend their support to the stir. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader T T V and some pro-Tamil outfits have opposed playing of IPL matches in the city, citing the ongoing protests in support of setting up of CMB.
Dhinakaran has appealed to the cricket fans to shun the matches scheduled to be held here in order to strengthen the voice of farmers’ seeking CMB. Pro-Tamil outfits including Tamilaga Vazhvurimai Katchi have also opposed holding of IPL matches in the city.
Opposition DMK Working President M K Stalin had said the organisers of IPL matches should realise the issues faced by the people and act accordingly. “We are not saying that it (matches) should not be held. The organisers should realise the problems of people and act accordingly,” he had said last week.
Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK Leader D Jayakumar had said the BCCI would realise the situation in Tamil Nadu and decide whether to hold the matches or not. Seven IPL matches are scheduled to be held here between April 10 and May 20.