Ahead of Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) IPL 2023 match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) today (April 12), a Tamil Nadu legislator has called for a ban on the MS Dhoni-led team.
The game at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday will be Dhoni’s 200th as CSK captain in IPL.
CSK, who have won four IPL titles and two Champions League T20 (CLT20) trophies, have been targeted for not promoting local talent in the IPL.
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This issue was raised in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday (April 11) by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) MLA SP Venkateshwaran.
Though it is branded as a Tamil Nadu team, CSK lacked talented players from the state in the current IPL edition, Venkateshwaran, who represents Dharmapuri constituency, said.
Raising the issue during the debate on the demand for grants for the Youth Welfare and Sports Development department in the Assembly, the MLA said: “They are making profits from our people through advertisements projecting it as a Tamil Nadu team. But there are no talented players from our State (in the team).”
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Later, talking to the media, Venkateshwaran said he had echoed the sentiments of the people of the state.
“A lot of youngsters are watching the IPL with lots of interest. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu. Our leader Ayya (Dr. Ramadoss) has launched a campaign ‘In search of Tamil’ to raise awareness among youth about the importance of protecting the Tamil language. A lot of people contacted me and said they are hurt that despite keeping Chennai as part of its (CSK) team name, it does not provide opportunities for our talented native players, and it should be banned.
“I just echoed the sentiments of the people in the Assembly today. They are making profits from our people by projecting as if they represent Tamil Nadu but there are no Tamil Nadu players (in the CSK team). I want more people from our state to be part of the (CSK) team,” he said.
CSK’s squad for IPL 2023 does not have players from the home state of Tamil Nadu. However, in the past, Tamil cricketers were picked by CSK.
In the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, CSK squad had 10 players from Tamil Nadu – Ravichandran Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Abhinav Mukund, S Badrinath, Anirudha Srikkanth, Arun Karthik, Palani Amarnath, Napolean Einstein, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, and Suresh Kumar.
For IPL 2023, CSK had two Tamil Nadu players – Hari Nishaanth and Narayan Jagadeesan.