The Telangana Research Scholars’ Forum on Wednesday threatened to disrupt the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Hyderabad during March and April alleging the competition would divert attention from the movement for a separate state.

“The people of Telangana are agitated about the separate state demand. The IPL tournament would divert attention from the ongoing agitation. Moreover, Telangana players are not encouraged in cricket though the Hyderabad Cricket Association was founded several decades ago. Only the children of businessmen are being promoted. We protest this,” R. Rudra Reddy, a member of the Forum, said.

Betting on cricket matches is also taking place, which really is looting of Telangana people, he alleged. Mr. Rudra Reddy said they would disrupt the matches in Hyderabad to register their protest.

The inaugural function of the IPL-III was planned to be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here but was shifted to Mumbai after Telangana supporters had disrupted a Twenty20 match.

Representatives of the IPL team Deccan Chargers have met TRS leaders and all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the Telangana movement, to seek their cooperation for conducting the IPL matches in Hyderabad and they have assured that there would not be any trouble from their side.