The former Captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, on Wednesday slammed the decision of the Sri Lankan government and the country's cricket board to allow its players to participate in the IPL matches as an endorsement of human rights abuse allegations against Colombo.

“What most people seem to ignore is that both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi are wanting to stop Sri Lankans playing in Tamil Nadu because they accuse Sri Lanka of human rights violations. So playing in other [Indian] States while skipping Tamil Nadu is an endorsement of human rights allegations against our country,” Mr. Ranatunga told PTI.

“Players must be made aware of this, as the world will say that Sri Lankan IPL players have unwittingly endorsed the human rights violation charges,” he said.

He charged both Tamil Nadu leaders with playing politics with the sport. “They were never concerned about the welfare of north and east [Sri Lankan] Tamils other than at times of elections in Tamil Nadu,” he said. He was also critical of the attitude of the IPL organisers towards the issue.

Mr. Ranatunga’s comments came as the government allowed 13 players to appear for IPL franchises subject to their skipping matches in Chennai.

He slammed the IPL Governing Council’s decision to withdraw Sri Lankan cricketers from the Chennai matches, and asked the players to opt out of the entire high-profile event beginning April 3.