Cricket Australia will let its players decide whether to play in the coming Indian Premier League despite the latest security threat in the country towards Australians.
India’s Shiv Sena political party, a Hindu group in Mumbai with a history of political violence, has warned that Australian cricketers will not be allowed to play in the state of Maharashtra until attacks on Indians in Australia stopped.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, cricket officials are treating the threat seriously given recent attacks on sporting teams, including last week’s attacks on the Togolese soccer team in Angola and last year’s assassination attempts on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan.
Up to 40 Australian players could take part in this year’s IPL tournament, scheduled for March-April, including captain Ricky Ponting and other members of the Test side, plus retired greats Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.
Cricket Australia (CA) said it would adopt a safety-first policy and draw on information from its own security advisers, the Australian government and IPL officials.
CA spokesman Peter Young said ultimately the players would make their own decisions to play in the IPL.
“We’ll be having a look at this particular issue given that IPL is only six, seven or eight weeks away and we’ll be providing the expertise, the advice, that we get to players who are going there,” Young said on Thursday.
He added: “At the end of the day those players make their own decision about whether or not they go, but we want them to be able to make informed decisions and we’d like to work with the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) to ensure they can make informed decisions.”