Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi has sought assuage fears of players’ boycott of the third edition of the tournament to be held in India from March 12 by saying that he has spoken to all the foreign parties concerned and reassured them on their security-related concerns.
“I spoke to a couple of the (Australian) boys yesterday about it. I think they will all take part,” he said.
“The tournament will go on. They are very comfortable with it. Not all players have said they don’t want to come, some have had concerns and we have taken care of their concerns. There’s nothing to be concerned about,” he added.
Modi also pointed to the Kookaburras’ presence in India for the World Cup hockey tournament as proof the country was safe for sports stars.
His response came after reports were in circulation that some of Australia’s cricketers were threatening to boycott the IPL if their security demands for the Twenty20 tournament aren’t met.
Player groups from around the world are hastily putting together a list of concerns for the Federation for International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) to hand to IPL organisers.
The security situation has worsened in India this month with a direct threat from an Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group to the IPL, the hockey World Cup and this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Australian Cricketers’ Association boss Paul Marsh said his players’ participation in the tournament was no certainty following a crisis meeting with players and managers in Sydney on Tuesday.
“I think it is very difficult to say at the moment,” he said.
“There are some issues that have been raised, if the IPL can satisfy those issues then potentially the players will be in a position to go,” he added.
Marsh said the players wouldn’t be blindly lured by the riches of the IPL, which begins on March 12.
“All the money in the world is not going to help you if you are not around to spend it,” he said.
Marsh said widely-respected consultant Reg Dickason’s security report had exposed serious shortcomings in the IPL’s plans but he refused to go into detail about the problem areas.
IPL bosses have refused in the past to acknowledge FICA but Marsh was confident backroom dealings could assist in them coming to an agreement.