Chennai: Even as M Karunanidhi and his party, the DMK, cries foul against Sri Lanka for the alleged genocide of Tamils, his grandnephew Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun Group has two Lankan players in its Indian Premier League or IPL team.
When the Sun Group bought their team last year, Sunrisers Hyderabad, they ironically retained Kumar Sangakkara as the captain, and paid a whopping $675,000 for all-rounder Thisara Perera.
“If Kalanidhi cares about the Tamil issue, he should sack both players,” said a Chennai resident.
Sun Group’s senior officials could not be contacted for a response.
However, sources close to Kalanidhi’s younger brother Dayanidhi Maran argue the mood towards Sri Lanka was much more cordial when the team purchased Sri Lankan players.
“After all it is a business model and Hyderabad is a different franchisee and they would want to have a winning team. Issues like this kill the charm of the game,” said an IPL fan.
“I am sure the Sun Group will take a call on this,” said DMK member Khushboo.
Last week the DMK pulled out of the UPA coalition at the Centre, accusing India of watering down a UN resolution against Sri Lanka that was adopted last week. India voted against Sri Lanka, but the Tamil Nadu parties say it let down Sri Lankan Tamils by failing to persuade the UN to use stronger language against the island nation and by not pushing for an independent rather than an internal inquiry into the alleged war crimes.
It was decided yesterday that Sri Lankan cricketers will not play IPL matches in Chennai. The IPL governing council decided this at a hurried tele-conference with team owners after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to the Prime Minister saying that no IPL matches would be allowed in the state capital if they involved Sri Lankan players, umpires or officials. The tournament begins next week and at least 10 matches are scheduled in Chennai.
Call it double speak or a pure business model, the Sri Lankan flavor in Sunrisers Hyderabad has come as a huge embarrassment for the DMK.