Australia make IPL security demands
Australian cricketers could boycott next month's IPL if safety concerns not addressed.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2010 14:17 GMT

Shane Warne, captain of the Rajasthan Royals, has expressed concerns [GALLO/GETTY]
Australian cricketers have expressed concerns over security at the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), following threats against the competition, the players' union have said.

A group of Australian players involved in next month's IPL met with Australian Cricketers Association chief Paul Marsh in Sydney on Tuesday to be briefed on the latest security developments in India.

They agreed to send a list of safety demands to the tournament organisers which will address 'serious' security concerns.

The demands follow a reported threat from an Al-Qaeda-linked individual, after a security consultant identified a number of shortcomings.

The New Zealand Cricket Players' Association also spoke out on Tuesday about their shared concerns.

Security fears

Marsh said players were concerned by an independent report which revealed flaws in the existing security plans for the Twenty20 league and would demand arrangements be upgraded.

"From the outset it is important to reinforce that players want to play in this year's IPL, however the independent report has identified some serious concerns with aspects of the current security process,'' Marsh said after a meeting with about 25 Australian players.

"Specifically, these concerns relate to the reported direct threat against the event and the status and implementation of the IPL's security plan.''

Marsh said players had agreed to take British security expert Reg Dickason's confidential findings back to their colleagues to prepare a list of demands, which would be relayed to the IPL by FICA, the international cricketers' union.

Until the IPL responded to their concerns Marsh said players would not commit to the tournament.

"The players are most certainly concerned, the IPL's had a direct threat ... and the IPL security plans are not currently in a state that we're happy with, those are the two issues," Marsh said.

Security worries

Security concerns resurfaced last week when the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online news website said it had received a warning from an Al-Qaeda-linked individual about attacking sports events in India.

The warning, from Ilyas Kashmiri, has heightened concerns over the Twenty20 tournament, along with the field hockey World Cup later this month in New Delhi, and October's Commonwealth Games

NZCPA chief Heath Mills said player groups from South Africa and England shared the concerns of the Australians and New Zealanders about IPL security.

"It's one thing to have a security management plan, it's a much different thing to see it delivered and delivered well,'' Mills said.

"It's quite complex when you consider the IPL is played across 12 cities, 12 police jurisdictions throughout India. There are some real concerns around that aspect.''

The IPL is due to begin mid-March.

Australian legspinner Shane Warne last week said the threats had him "thinking twice" about heading to India to captain-coach the Rajasthan Royals, describing them as of "deep concern to athletes across a number of sports."

Warne said the IPL had been moved last year at short notice to South Africa and, if the threats were proven, organisers should consider moving it again.

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