Aussie players could miss IPL
Australian cricketers could be barred from participating in this year's IPL, after the right-wing political party, Shiv Sena, warned that they would not be welcome in parts of the country in retaliation for a series of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.
The Australian Cricketers' Association, a body which is not recognised by the IPL, requested access to the tournament's security plans but was denied, and has consequently refused to recommend this year's event to its members. This has led to the prospect of 25 players, including Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Shane Warne, sitting out of the tournament in March and April, and missing out on an estimated total of A$9.2m.
''The players rely on us to ensure that security is properly assessed and a recommendation is provided to them," Paul Marsh, the ACA's chief executive, told the Age. "If the IPL won't allow us to review arrangements for this year's event, how can we recommend to our players that they play in the event?''
Shiv Sena's leader, Bal Thackeray, recently declared that "kangaroo cricketers" would not be welcome in the state of Maharashtra, but a spokesman, Diwakar Raote, subsequently qualified those remarks. ''We are not against Australians, we are not against Australian tourists, but this agitation is because of how we feel about what is happening,'' he said.
"We will respect any guest who comes but we will not allow Australians to play until the attitude is changed in Australia. What we are hearing is that they are killing our people, they are burning our people, they are stabbing our people. For what? The students are going there. Do you think we are going to do the same thing? No. But we will not allow you to play.''
Ponting, who is currently involved in the third Test against Pakistan in Hobart, felt there was still sufficient time to sort the issue before the IPL gets underway in March.
"I'm sure CA and all the players and the players' association will do everything they have done for every tour we have been on for the last 10 years to check out some of these threats and most importantly keep the players up to date with everything they are finding out," he said. "That happens on every tour we go on and we will be expecting and demanding that happens again."