New Delhi: Former captain Arjun Ranatunga on Wednesday slammed IPL Governing Council's decision to withdraw Sri Lankan cricketers from Chennai matches of the tournament and asked the players to opt out of the entire high-profile event beginning April 3.
"....as far as cricketers are concerned I think if they can't play in South India (Chennai) they should play in other part either. I personally feel if players are not welcomed in one part of India they should not be part of any IPL," Ranatunga said.
"The excuse that the South Indian politician gave was war crimes. And I am sure the players should take that into consideration and think of the country and pull out from the entire Indian Premier League," he told 'Times Now'.
Ranatunga termed the decision a political gimmick and said that the IPL Governing Council should have taken all the matches away from Chennai.
"I think what IPL should have done was pulled out all the matches from South India if they are so keen on Sri Lankan players participation. But it's all political gimmick," he said.
On Tuesday, bowing to intense political pressure, the IPL Governing Council, withdrew top Sri Lankan players from the Chennai matches of the high-profile IPL after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa refused to host them in view of the prevailing anti-Sinhalese sentiments in the state.