Indian cricket officials downplayed security concerns surrounding their Twenty20 league next month after the Sri Lankan board said it would review the situation before allowing its players to participate.
Security fears around the tournament, which attracts a large number of international players has intensified following an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan, this month that left six players and a coach wounded.
All the top Sri Lankan cricketers, including newly-appointed captain Kumar Sangakkara and vice-captain Muttiah Muralitharan, are contracted to one of the eight Indian franchises.
“I don’t think security is an issue at all,” league chairman Lalit Modi said on Thursday.
The second edition, planned from April 10 to May 24, has already hit a roadblock after the Indian government asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for revised match dates to avoid a clash of dates with the general election.
The Ministry of Home Affairs told organisers to reschedule match dates for a second time because regional governments said they would find it tough to spare security forces that would be busy with the month-long poll starting on April 16.
The newly appointed chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim administration raised security concerns at a news conference in Colombo on Wednesday.
“We have to talk to the players and then with the BCCI on security related issues before sending them to India for the tournament,” DS de Silva told the media.
Regional cricket officials who host the games did not think player security was an issue.
“I don’t think it is a problem,” Kasi Vishwanathan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, home to the Chennai franchise for whom Muralitharan plays, said.
“I have been in touch with Muralitharan and he hasn’t said anything. He is aware of the tight security arrangements we make.”