Colombo: Despite mounting pressure from nationalists to snub the event, Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that the players were allowed to take part in the Indian Premier League in view of BCCI`s assistance to Sri Lanka at times of need in the past.
"We have to take into account our good relations with the BCCI and their assistance given to Sri Lanka at times of need in the past," said Aluthgamage responding to why the players were allowed to proceed despite protests.
Aluthgamage also said that the players were free to play in States other than Tamil Nadu and the BCCI had provided written assurances of their safety.
Ashley de Silva, the acting CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that the cricketers have given letters of consent to play in the IPL.
"Players have given letters of consent to play in the IPL", Ashley de Silva, the acting CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said today.
They are Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera, Jeewan Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Thisara Perera and Sachitra Senanayake.
De Silva added that Nuwan Kulasekera and Akila Dananjaya -- the two Chennai Super Kings players -- have failed to give letters of consent.
After Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa`s demanded that Sri Lankan players be banned from playing in her State, pressure was mounting on the Island`s cricketers to skip the entire tournament.
First Published: Monday, April 01, 2013, 21:31