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February 3, 2010
Harsha Bhogle : Cricket in the time of terror
News : Players want access to security details - SACA
News : Indian home minister guarantees player security
News : Players' associations frustrated by IPL rebuff
News : Australian board to brief IPL players on safety issues
News : Cricket Australia says players can decide on IPL
News : Aussie players could miss IPL
In Focus: Security concerns
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
The participation of Australian players in the third edition of the IPL has taken a step forward with their players union, the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA), saying it is close to receiving the security report from the IPL authorities. That will be followed by an assessment by a security firm, after which the players will be advised.
The precautions come after a warning issued by the Shiv Sena, a Mumbai-based regional political party, that Australians would be barred from playing matches in Mumbai in response to the ongoing attacks on Indian students in Australia.
The ACA took the warning seriously and said it would take all necessary precautions before sending its players to India for the Twenty20 tournament starting March 10. The IPL chairman Lalit Modi said he would pass on the security plans only to the national boards and not the player unions.
"I fully expect it [receiving the security plans] will happen and I've advised the players that we expect it will happen, it's just we're at the point where we're just waiting on getting the plans," ACA chief executive Paul Marsh told AAP. "We are getting close, there's a few details we're trying to get through, there's a commitment there to give it to us provided we meet certain restrictions and obligations. Hopefully we'll get there."
Marsh said there was still some work left to do before they release their players for the tournament.
"Once we get these IPL plans we've got an independent security company to help put together a report for us that'll outline the situation in India in general and also get a view of plans in place," Marsh said. "They'll provide a recommendation that we'll be passing on to the players as to whether or not they think it's safe to tour.
"We've had briefings with the government already and the government has given us briefings around Shiv Sena and the players. Once this report's put together, will get the relevant information on that. You can confuse people by giving people little bits of information along the way."
Marsh added that though they didn't regard it as a terrorist threat, they were taking the issue very seriously.
"You've got to take the threats legitimately, there's been two threats made to the Australian players," he said. "The advice we're getting is they're an extremist political party, they're not a terrorist group. They've got a history of making pretty outrageous comments for the purpose of seeking attention. You can't rule out that there may be some action taken here."
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