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Sri Lanka's U-15 cricket team sent back from Chennai due to security reasons

Chennai: Sri Lanka's Under-15 team that came here to play in the J.M. Haroon Cricket Tournament was sent back home Monday citing security reasons, the tournament's organiser said.

The Sri Lankan team arrived here Sunday.

"The Sri Lankan boys checked in at a hotel. But they were immediately taken back to the airport by the police," J.M. Haroon, the tournament's organiser and a Congress leader, told IANS.

"The police did not allow the team to stay in any other city hotel as well. The Sri Lankan boys spent the night at the airport," Haroon added.

"It is really unfortunate that the team was sent back. The players are young boys aged below 15. Where is the question of politics coming into picture," Haroon asked.

He said the tournament is into its eighth year.

"Teams from Pakistan and Bangladesh cancelled their visit due to visa problems. The team from Malaysia has come here. The tournament will go on as there are 12 teams fighting for the cup," Haroon said.

Haroon said the treatment metted out to Sri Lankan players was unexpected.

In 2012, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had ordered the return of two football teams from the island nation that were in the city to play friendly matches.

She also ordered the suspension of the stadium officer at the Nehru Stadium here for allowing the football team from Royal College of Colombo to play a friendly match against the Chennai Customs football team.

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