Rajasthan Royals owner Manoj Badale dispelled doubts on the participation of Australian and English cricketers of his side due to any security concern that crept up following the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan players in Pakistan.
“Shane Watson has said publicly that he was eager to play in the IPL and Shane Warne too has spoken to me and has shown willingness to guide his team to another victory,” Badale told reporters at a team promotional event.
At a function to launch a new title song for his team and also unveil a new shirt, Badale said a victory parade will be held next month to celebrate the first edition triumph.
“We tried twice but just after the final last year few players left due to their prior engagements. When we tried again the terrorists attack in Mumbai thwarted our plans. As for now we plan to hold a victory parade on April 7 in which all players are expected to take part,” said Badale in the presence of other stakeholders Raj Kundra and Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty.
Badale said the team management was also planning to recruit more players from the home state.
“We had sponsored a few local tournaments and opened a window for local players. We plan to put four local players on the contract list and to select a few local players and give them the opportunity to share the dressing room with the squad.
“These will be a learning experience for these players. But I cannot change the standard of cricket in the state so quickly,” he said.
He said the next priority for Rajasthan Royals was to spread the interest of the Twenty20 tournament to Gujrat, its catchment area.
“Our other catchment area is Gujrat and we have seven players from that region in our ranks. Initially we were planning to hold matches like one against Mohali and with Pathan brothers (Irfan and Yousuf), the match would have generated much interest in that area. If we are not able to hold the matches in Jaipur, Gujrat would be our next preference,” said Badale.
Asked whether the shifting of the inaugural IPL match would mean that Mumbai was safer than Jaipur, Badale said it did not mean so.
“The world that we live in has people who are hell bent on destructing peace. Paramount for Rajasthan Royals is players’ security and we will do whatever is asked from us in that regard. It can happen anywhere in world, in Lahore, in Mumbai or any where. This is not a judgment on standards of security but it is a question of resources and of assurances.”