Thiruvananthapuram : In a surprise development, the UDF government in Kerala has banned the game of cricket in the state. The decision was taken at an emergency cabinet meeting, convened soon after the BCCI decided to terminate Kerala’s IPL team, Kochi Tuskers, from the next edition of the Twenty20 tournament for non-payment of franchise fee.
“The cricket board has insulted Kerala,” fumed Sports minister, K B Ganesh Kumar. Instructions have been issued to all trade unions that henceforth no self-respecting Malayalee is to play cricket when there is a bandh or a hartal observed in the state. Youth are to be encouraged to play football instead, said Ganesh Kumar, oblivious to the fact that it was the management of Kochi Tuskers, that had scored a self-goal.
“It is not for the government to say that youngsters should sweat only over a game of football and not cricket,” said an angry Tharoor. “This is no way to bring equity to sport in Kerala. This is not in the spirit of the game. It is like treating the people of Kerala like cattle class.”
It may be recalled that Tharoor had to quit his job at the External Affairs ministry, after revelations that Sunanda Pushkar, who he married later, was to receive sweat equity from the Kochi IPL management.
In a late night tweet, Tharoor announced his decision to protest against the decision by traveling around his constituency wearing gloves and a cricket cap with a bat in his hand. Donning pads over his veshti (his attire while he is in Kerala) is, however ruled out.