Hayden, Gilchrist confirm availability for IPL
Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia openers, have confirmed their availability for the third edition of the IPL amid threats from the Shiv Sena, a right-wing political party, in the aftermath of attacks on Indian students in Australia.
Cricket Australia, the governing body for cricket in the country, has left it to the players to decide whether or not to participate in the IPL, due to begin on March 12 this year. The Australian Cricketers' Association, a players' representative body, had raised concerns over player safety once the threats were made known but Hayden, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, was positive about his participation.
"The process is that the security agencies will investigate and let Cricket Australia know who will let the players know, but the final decision is in the hands of the players," he told the Indian news channel NDTV. "You will definitely see me in India for IPL 3.
"I have been welcomed into the bosom of India as a brother. I feel very humbled and privileged to be able to play here. I am looking forward to IPL 3 and am confident it will be a huge success."
Adam Gilchrist, who represents Deccan Chargers, was reported to have expressed concern over the matter but clarified he was certain to tour. "I cannot speak for other players but I am sure to tour India in March for the IPL. I am confident of Mr. Modi and the IPL organisers. I have some fine memories of India and would like to extend that," Gilchrist was quoted as saying by PTI.
Gilchrist's manager Stephen Atkinson had earlier stated: "Adam is aware of the situation and he is always very mindful of the security concerns in India. Adam was looking to play in this year's tournament but it is always a worry when statements like that (made by Shiv Sena) are being made. Ultimately, he will be guided by the views of Cricket Australia and security experts."
But Gilchrist added that his manager's quotes had been misinterpreted. "I love playing in India. My manager's quote has been misinterpreted and I am quite keen to play in India," Gilchrist said.
Phillip Hughes, the standby Test opener, has put himself up for Tuesday's auction and said the IPL was something he would still love to be involved in. His decision on whether or not to travel will depend on the advice from Cricket Australia and the player's association.
"I've watched the last couple of years of the IPL and the crowds and the buzz around it," he said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "I'll go in the auction next Tuesday, and just see what happens."
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.''