IPL threat is credible
A report commissioned by the players' unions in England, Australia and South Africa and written by the England team's security adviser Reg Dickason has said that the recent threat from the 313 Brigade, Al-Qaeda's operational arm in Pakistan, is credible and that security cannot be guaranteed in India, according to newspaper reports in England and Australia. The assessment has apparently already been passed on to the players' unions and the cricketers concerned have been informed of its contents.
England are currently headed to Bangladesh for a full series after contesting a short two-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the UAE. The England players signed up for the IPL are Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Owais Shah, Ravi Bapora, Dimitri Mascarenhas, and Graham Napier. Collingwood, England's Twenty20 captain, and Pietersen are expected to join the IPL only on March 24 but the rest are due to play the entire tournament.
"I am aware of the reported security risks and am in constant communication with Delhi Daredevils," said Collingwood, who till then had not seen the report. "I will make a decision once I have had a chance to review all the available information and talk to the relevant people."
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald said no final decision had been taken yet by the Australian Cricketers' Association on what advice to give the country's large contingent of players who have signed up with the IPL. ''We're not in a position to talk about it right now,'' Paul Marsh, the ACA's chief executive, told the paper. ''I've just received it and I'm working my way through it.''
Security fears regarding the IPL intensified after a string of statements warning countries not to send its representatives to major sports events being staged in India, including the IPL. Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, the international players' union, has warned of a spate of player withdrawals from the IPL due to security concerns over playing in India.
May's statements came on a day the Jaipur police said they had received intelligence inputs of a terrorist threat relating to the one-day international in the city between India and South Africa on Sunday. This followed other reported threats targeting the Commonwealth Games and the Hockey World Cup, both due to be hosted in India this year. Earlier, the Shiv Sena, a right-wing regional political party, had claimed it would not allow Australian cricketers to participate in the competition as a protest against attacks on Indian students in Australia.