Players from around the world voiced increasing concerns over security arrangements for the third edition of the IPL even as officials sought to provide reassurances.
“Players remain concerned about the security issues for IPL,” said Graeme Smith, who missed the ongoing ODI series with injury. “This is a big event with lots of different players, stadia, hotels and travel arrangements. The help and assistance we get for this event from our players’ association will be very important to us. Everyone is monitoring the situation closely at the moment.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Shane Bond said he would take a decision on participation closer to the start of IPL. “You have to listen to what everybody says. Because it is still a month, things can change. I'll only make a decision closer to the time I’m due to go,” said Bond, who will play for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Aussie cricketers raised their concerns through their players' association and received assurances that they would be addressed.
“The concerns were about the implementation of security plans that we have in place,” an IPL governing council member told HT. “It's not true that they have problems with the security and no stage have they threatened not to come.” The concerns are thought to centre around co-ordination between various state agencies and private security personnel, as the IPL is set to by played across 12 locations.
“The independent report has identified some serious concerns with aspects of the current security process,” Paul Marsh, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association said. “Specifically these concerns relate to the reported threat against the event and the status and implementation of IPL’s security plan.
“The process from here is for all players associated to meet with their player groups and for all of us to feed back the concerns raised from these meetings to the IPL,” said Marsh. “This will be coordinated through the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations. We will await a response from the IPL.”
While the BCCI, and by extension the IPL, does not deal directly with players’ associations, Lalit Modi confirmed that all players would be kept in the loop. “The BCCI has always maintained a direct line of communication with other boards,” said Modi. “We work with the boards, and they can then interface with their players' associations. How other boards want to disseminate information is up to them.” Twenty Aussies, 17 South Africans and four New Zealanders play in the IPL.