New Zealand Cricket may invoke a clause in its players’ contract and stop them from travelling to the sub-continent for the Indian Premier League if security assurances are insufficient.
A number of players including all-rounder Jacob Oram and skipper Daniel Vettori have expressed concern about the IPL and though the left-arm spinner said it will boil down to individual choice, NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said under the terms of the collective contract, the board could insist that the seven IPL-contracted players stayed home.
“We cannot unreasonably prevent players from participating in other competitions but if we could see there was a direct security risk that would not be unreasonable grounds,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by the ‘New Zealand Herald’.
Vettori (Delhi Daredevils), Brendon McCullum (Kolkata Knight Riders), Oram (Chennai Super Kings), Kyle Mills (Mumbai Indians), Scott Styris (Deccan Chargers), Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder (Bangalore Royal Challengers) are due to join their franchises after the India tour.
Stephen Fleming, player-coach of Chennai Super Kings, has already retired from international cricket.
Vaughan said the board would be seeking security advice before giving the green light to the players to take part in the IPL in the wake of the terror attack on Sri Lanka players in Lahore on Tuesday and last year’s Mumbai massacre.
Despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s assurances that security during the IPL would be sufficient, Vaughan said he owed it to his players to “dig a little deeper”.
The federation of players’ associations, FICA, has already demanded an independent security assessment prior to the IPL.
New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association chief Heath Mills too joined in, saying they would insist on comprehensive independent security reports before recommending his members joined their franchises.
“We will not be relying on any security advice that is not independent and comprehensive. It is not good enough to just simply take the assurances from the BCCI or IPL at face value or any assurance they might give Justin,” said Mills.
“When it comes to security the BCCI and IPL can no longer suggest they are not going to work with player associations. The international players have every right to have their representatives assess the security around this event as we do in all other situations,” said Mills.