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IPL 2018: Cauvery protest intensifies against CSK in Tamil Nadu

It was a befitting gift to the fans whose loyalty was unwavering. The spirit of Chennaites could be long seen in the yellow army in thousands making its deafening presence felt during the practice session in Chepauk.


Making a comeback to the Indian Premier League after two years, Chennai Super Kings defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by 1 wicket in a nail-biting game last Saturday.


After making a mark in Mumbai, Chennaites were raging to welcome CSK for a grand homecoming in Chepauk where they are set to play their first home game against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.


But looks like the ongoing protest against the State and Central governments over the delay in formation of Cauvery Management Board, Sterlite issue, etc, might put a spoke in the celebrations. 


All the expectations took a different turn when politicians sought a full stop to the celebration as the state was struggling to form the Cauvery Management Board despite a Supreme Court order, which directly affects the livelihood of many farmers in the state.


It was only natural that the dissent against the Cauvery issue increased day by day among the public and it didn’t take long for politicians to jump into the chorus.


DMK asked fans to boycott the CSK match, RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran asked fans to return the match tickets, Superstar Rajinikanth said that he wished that the Chennai Super Kings players wear black badge during the IPL matches and that the spectators can wear black to show solidarity with the protest. Tamil Nadu All Farmers Federations have decided to protest outside the stadium on the day of the match if the game is not boycotted. Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) leader Velmurugan warned that the party or its cadres can’t be held responsible if anything untoward happened to the players.


With TVK supporters raising slogans at the match venue on Tuesday, looks like it wasn’t an empty threat after all.


Amid the threats by politicians, over 2,000 police personnel have been deployed for the security of the players in and around the stadium.


Though the politics behind the formation of Cauvery Management Board is bigger, what a common man expects of this chance through the IPL platform is for his voice to be heard!


But the prevailing question is why involve cricket in the affairs of a state? What difference will it make? In a face-off between India and Pakistan, if India can decide to ban Pakistan players from Indian Premier League to show its discord, the question arises if it’s fair to even request a team that represents the state to wear a black badge to show solidarity with the worries that are looming over the state.


In a reply, CSK CEO KS Viswanathan said, "We are with the Tamilians. We understand their concerns. It is a collective decision to be taken by the management."


And just a day before the match, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association announced that the display of non-cricket related banners and flags are prohibited. As a precautionary measure, police have reportedly warned that people wearing black outfits will be frisked in the security check process at MA Chidambaram stadium today.


What next? Will there be a rule stating the colour of clothes the spectators should wear?


One could say, the timing of the Cauvery issue and CSK’s homecoming couldn’t have been better. Chennai will roar louder and the support will be bigger this year! But is there a chance for our voices to be heard across the globe? If even one voice stands out amid all this commotion and makes a difference, it still counts as a bigger WIN to the team and Tamil Nadu. A bigger win than any of the CSK matches could get for us!

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