Should the IPL be held as scheduled? March 12, 2009

To play or not to play?

Is the decision to give the go-ahead to the IPL right, given the risks involved in the wake of the Lahore attack and the implications that any untoward incident during the tournament will have?

"I don't understand why some players have issues about security only when they are playing for their country" © AFP

Arjuna Ranatunga
former president of the Sri Lanka cricket board
It is a decision the Indian government and the IPL should take since it is private tournament. It is their responsibility. Terrorism issues are all over the world, but if the government is 100% sure and gives the assurances, then I don't think other countries should grumble about if the IPL should go on not.

What I don't understand about some of the foreign players is that when they are playing for their country they have issues about security, but when it comes to something like the IPL, where the money is big, they aren't all that concerned. I cannot understand these double standards.

The Asian countries should get together and sort out security issues, otherwise I fear we may get into a big mess in the future.

Darrell Hair
former ICC Elite Panel umpire
Personally I would not go to India if I were a player or an umpire, especially after the Mumbai blasts last year and the people trying to ambush the convoy of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore recently.

Bishan Bedi
former India captain
This is no time for cricket. Elections are far more important. God forbid if one foreign cricketer is killed the damage done will be irreparable. Even without any elections last year there was a bomb blast in Jaipur. The security forces will be focused on the general elections. No one can guarantee foolproof security even the government of India.

We've got to be sensible - there is no point shouting the security has been increased ten-fold. Also I don't understand why the IPL does not want FICA on board to oversee the security measures. Even the ICC acknowledges FICA, so why not the BCCI? Also, keeping an eye on the future, the World Cup is coming up in two years, so any sort of mishap can create bottlenecks.

Tim May
Federation of International Cricketers' Associations chief executive
The decision to give the go-ahead to the IPL may or may not be the right one - it is impossible for us to provide a definitive opinion without any knowledge of the security that is to be employed by the IPL. It puzzles me why Mr [Lalit] Modi will not involve FICA in this process. This is not an industrial negotiation, it is a request from international players for an independent security advisor to assess the security arrangements for the IPL in order to provide comfort to the players that it is safe to participate in this event. Why would you deny that peace of mind to the players and their families? So we are back to square one - players will have to guess whether it is safe or not. That doesn't assist IPL at all. All indications are, a number of players will not take such a risk.

In terms of security, India and Pakistan are different. The most recent security advice that we [FICA] commissioned immediately following the Mumbai incident, as to the relevant risks of the two countries, supports that fact. This, of course, does not mean it is not necessary for players to have the right to review the security that is being laid out.

Kepler Wessels
former Chennai Super Kings coach
It should go ahead with the idea of a shorter tournament, which is a good option. I don't believe that one should anticipate something that should not happen in a country like India. The security should and will be increased and I see no reason to postpone or cancel the upcoming tournament.

Interviews by Nagraj Gollapudi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shimoga on March 14, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    Not only should they re schedule but they need to reduce.

    IPL has too many games They should reduce the number times play each other to no more than two and have a knock odf series from quaterfinal onwards. Last year, I signed up for the series and watched some games but it was too many and too boring.

  • sitaram on March 14, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Politics or Cricket. Thats easy - rescehdule the elections - better still postpone them, better still cancel them altogether. Modi for PM and Nirnajan Shah for President - they can't be any worse than the current lot!!!!

  • Vaibhav on March 13, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    The IPL should be held as scheduled. I have an idea for the government - they can postpone the elections- anyway this is going to result in a hung parliament and there will be no govt anyway post elections - and there will be a colossal waste of public money.

    IPL will help getting in money from corporates and this can help develop the game.

    The useless politicians should wait for their turn - cricket does come first and will provide entertainment to a society which needs this in the current recession and gloom

    So cricket lovers - let us unite and vote for IPL and not parties - they can wait for their turn


  • twoing on March 13, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    India is the worlds most populous democracy but the voting turnout is very low because most people are yet to understood that voting is their duty. Because of its huge popularity IPL is not only a huge distraction for the security forces but also for the voting public. The whole security and governance will be stretched to its maximum limits. Even the government forces cant guarantee foolproof security. How can toothless private security firm claim the same?

    A lot of jealous non-state/state actors are hellbent to sabotage our lifestyle. The 200 IPL players and 10 venues are a very soft target with the whole world's eyes fixed on it. Suicidal terrorists have twice defied the logic to attack sportsmen. When they can go against common sense to attack a neutral team in their own country, what will change their motive to attack a perceived enemy, especially when they have well established logistics in place.

    IPL should be a very trivial sacrifice to be made for greater common good.

  • kc on March 13, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    @IndusKnight: "India has all the borrowed money at the moment." -Are you the finance minister of INDIA?

  • John on March 13, 2009, 15:08 GMT

    Whether the IPL Season 2 takes place this year or not, the recent developments has severly dented Mr. Modi's pride and influence. Just when he thought he was beyond all means in the world of cricket, he has come crashing down and is now dependent on a few external factors to have the tournament go on.

    Personally IPL is a great concept, it has opened an avenue which many thought was non existent. IPL should acknowledge the fact that they borrowed the idea from ICL, although they have taken it to a whole new level. Quite frankly, ICL did not live upto expectations. Banning players and others associated with ICL is ridiculous. Afterall, in the world of Indian Cricket, Kapil Dev is far greater than what Lalit Modi can ever aspire to be. Spoiling the livelihood and splitting cricket teams around the world was never a good gesture. I beleive Karma has spoken, It would be interesting to see whether Lalit Modi and Co will have a change of heart.

  • Merwin on March 13, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    I'm a huge cricket fan but the reality is India has turned into a dangerous place. I would be happy if not just the IPL but all international cricket is canceled in India for the next two years or till the situation is stabilized. India boasts of a huge population and there can never be enough security. The terrorists have got a taste of the publicity that they get when the cricketers are targeted and there are bound to be opportunities for them when there are about 200 players and staff in more than 14 cities. I really do not wish something drastic takes place which would bury cricket in India once and for all.

  • Rajasundram on March 13, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    India is not Pakistan - often had we heard it said.

    And true enough even with the Mumbai and Jaipur incidents, India is a much safer place - under normal circumstances.

    But with the elections ging on - the security forces will rightly keep that as their first priority. BCCI must understand that and schedule matches in such a way that security is not compromised.

    The FICA request (in my mind) is a fair one and if as the BCCI says that all measures will be taken, what is the harm in inviting the FICA to work with BCCI in allaying the players' fears. They must be invited to see what measures are being taken.

    I am aware that India has no Players' Association, because the players are looked after very well ny the BCCI. Why join a Union when you have a generous boss?

    I pray that the IPL carries on and that cricket is the winner.

    Siva srom Singapore

  • Jarrod on March 13, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    I think it should be postponed, i have a bad feeling that something will happening this tournament. I think after what happened in Lahore and what happened in Mumbai, there should be a big review on security on the subcontinent, even if that means theres a small postponement on cricket in Asia. Personally Im not a fan of the IPL, I see it as just a tournament with no meaning (for me because Im not from India) where players gather for a quick buck, but with its popularity in India it is a big target.

  • Arpit on March 13, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    Clever collection of comments. All of the comments are from ppl save Wessels who have history of confrontation with BCCI including the outspoken Mr. Bedi. Plz do include some comments from the other side as well to get the complete picture.

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