FICA sweats as IPL 2010 faces terror threat from Taliban

The Federation of International Cricketer’s Association (FICA) once again raised the issue of security during the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). FICA president Tim May, a former Aussie cricketer, said on Saturday that foreign players urgently needed information on security arrangements during IPL because independent Australian security experts have told FICA that the T20 event faces threat from terror outfits, including Taliban.

“We have generic inputs from an independent security agency in Australia that Taliban, a couple of other right wing and terrorist groups could be a threat to the IPL and we are really concerned about it. IPL is a high profile sporting event and that is why we are asking the organisers to share the security arrangements of the tournament with us,” May said.

“This is not just a matter of concern for the Australian players, it is for all players who will take part in the IPL. I am aware that players from across the world have written and made phone calls to their franchises requesting details of security. Unfortunately, that has not met with a positive response from the IPL. We are yet to be updated on the security situation,” May said.

When asked whether there were any specific inputs from security experts, May clarified: “There is nothing specific but there are serious concerns. There might be a situation where players will individually appoint security advisers to review those arrangements via their respective boards.”

Meanwhile, the IPL authorities maintained that there was no need to worry about the security arrangements for IPL. “There is nothing to worry. The South African security agency – Nicholl, Steyn & Associate – will be there to overlook the security arrangements. If the players need any further clarification, they can directly contact the IPL,” a top IPL official said.

A BCCI official when contacted, said: “Threat perception is common these days and the rest of the world should know that South African cricket team is touring India now. We haven’t got anything from the respective board as yet.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh has reportedly said that the players’ body was close to being handed over security plans for IPL.

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