Fallout of the Lahore attack

Australian players jittery over IPL

Brydon Coverdale in Durban

March 4, 2009

Text size: A | A

Top Curve
Lee and Bracken want to play in IPL
  • Several members of the Australian Test squad in South Africa may be rethinking their involvement in the IPL after the terrorist strikes in Lahore, but fast bowlers Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken remain interested in playing the Twenty20 tournament.
  • Lee told the Australian newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, that he knew the security risks involved in visiting the subcontinent but "we can't let this [terrorism] stop us going about what we do with our lives."
  • Bracken, who missed the tournament's first season as he was recovering from a knee surgery, had similar views on the incident. "It's concerning that terrorism is impacting the sport. But I'll still be going," the paper quoted him as saying.
  • Former wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, though, remained circumspect about participating in the tournament. "I'll try to gather more detail and learn more about the situation [and] then assess it from there," he told the Australian.
Bottom Curve

Australia's players are considering their involvement in the IPL this year following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. The captain Ricky Ponting had already decided not to play this season because of his Australian commitments but he said his team-mates would be thinking about whether they wanted to travel to the region so soon after the Lahore shootout and the Mumbai terrorist attack.

"I think there would have been enough concerns from the guys anyway after Mumbai," Ponting said. "That was still pretty fresh in everyone's minds I think and this one on top again. I'm not going to the IPL, a decision that was made a few weeks ago. Some of the other guys that potentially could be going there will have all those things now that they've got to think about as well, more so than they did before."

Australia were on Wednesday practising in Durban ahead of the second Test against South Africa and Ponting said his men would be kept abreast of the security situation in Asia by the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA). Ponting said he was not aware of any players who had already decided not to take part in the IPL because of the Lahore attack.

"I'm sure once we get around the guys a bit more today that might even be something that comes up in our meeting this morning as well, see what the guys are thinking about there," Ponting said. "[ACA chief executive] Paul Marsh will keep the guys up to date with what's happening as far as security is concerned in the IPL."

A more pressing concern for Australia is the one-day series they were scheduled to play against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates immediately following the tour of South Africa. Cricket Australia is keen to go ahead with the series, while England has loomed as a possible venue for a Test series between Australia and Pakistan next year.

"I'm not against playing in neutral venues," Ponting said. "We've done it in the past, we played [Tests against Pakistan] in Sri Lanka and Sharjah a few years ago now. There's every possibility that neutral venues could come up."

The Lahore attack dominated discussions among Australia's players on Tuesday, when they had intended to refocus on the second Test following their 162-run win in Johannesburg. The Australian team physio Alex Kountouris, who previously worked with the Sri Lanka side, had been in touch with the Sri Lanka players while the coach Tim Nielsen had spoken to his fellow South Australian, the umpire Steve Davis, who was travelling in a van behind the team bus when the attack took place.

"From having a good win and having a bit of a celebration and waking up yesterday morning and seeing what was happening in our game on the other side of the world was very saddening for all of us," Ponting said. "Alex has made contact with them yesterday and I told him last night to send a message on behalf of the players to the guys over there that have been affected by it all.

"Obviously what happened was well planned and they were made targets. It was the main discussion point around the whole group yesterday from the morning when we woke up until we went to bed last night. That's what everyone was talking about, what they were seeing on the news coverage and what Alex was hearing coming back from their players."

Security has been increased for the South Africa and Australia teams in the wake of the Lahore attack. The second Test begins at Kingsmead on Friday.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tournament Results
RCB v Chargers at Johannesburg - May 24, 2009
Chargers won by 6 runs
RCB v Super Kings at Johannesburg - May 23, 2009
RCB won by 6 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Daredevils v Chargers at Centurion - May 22, 2009
Chargers won by 6 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)
RCB v Chargers at Centurion - May 21, 2009
RCB won by 12 runs
Daredevils v Mum Indians at Centurion - May 21, 2009
Daredevils won by 4 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days