Taking serious view of Shiv Sena’s threat to Australian cricketers not to participate in the lucrative IPL, Australia has said it will carry out a thorough “analysis of security” situation and advise its cricket board accordingly.
However, Australian High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese made it clear that the government has nothing to do with individual players taking up private contracts.
“In the course of time we will do our analysis of security situation and we will share that with the Cricket Australia. We will take into account any threat that have been made and what the reliability or likelihood of those threats are,” Varghese said.
Shiv Sena has warned Australian cricketers not to participate in the multi billion dollar IPL tournament until attacks on Indians stop in Australia.
“It is not a very welcoming thing to say……We keep a very close contact with the Cricket Australia which in turn are in very close contact with individual Australian cricketers who play in the IPL,” Varghese said.
Close to 40 Australian players are expected to take part in this year’s IPL, scheduled in March-April.
Top Australian players including Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee, Mike Hussey and Shane Watson are some of the star cricketers who are part of various IPL teams.
However, it would be up to individual players to take a final decision on whether to participate in the IPL or not, Varghese said.
“It will be part and parcel of our normal dialogue with the Cricket Australia on the security environment. But in the end we do not make a decision about whether an individual Australian cricketer will play in the IPL or not,” he said.
Ponting, who is contracted with Kolkata Knight Riders, has already made it clear that the players would demand safety assurances before leaving for India.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith had also said that the Government was taking the threat very seriously but left it to players and Cricket Australia to decide whether they wanted to go to India.
This is not the first time that Shiv Sena has come out against Australian players. Last year too it had called for removal of Australian players from IPL teams as mark of protest against the attacks.