ECB to monitor security ahead of IPL
The ECB will monitor the security situation in India ahead of the IPL following yesterday's attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore. Centrally contracted England players are due to take part for a three-week period following the tour of West Indies.
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, has already had conversations with the Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive Sean Morris and said the recent events have changed the security situation worldwide.
"Clearly the players' association and ourselves are looking very closely at the security situation around the world," Morris said. "It's good to see Lalit Modi saying that everything will be done to make sure security around all the franchises will be in place but it's something we will monitor."
The ECB have granted No Objection Certificates to the centrally contracted players taking part, including Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, and while stopping short of saying they could be withdrawn, Morris emphasised how important security had now become.
"As far as centrally contracted players clearly we need to make sure that safety and security provisions are in place," he said. "We've agreed a no obligation certificate and...safety and security is the No. 1 priority of our board."
Morris added that the impact of the attack on Sri Lanka's team coach, as it approached the ground in Lahore, will be felt for a long time to come. England's next scheduled visit to the subcontinent is a tour of Pakistan in 2010, but that must now be in serious doubt.
"Yesterday was a complete and utter tragedy," Morris said. "It was a shocking event and I think the ramifications of it all we are going to have to consider in the weeks and months to come. We are not due to go back for some time but we take every tour individually and will monitor the situation as and when it arises."
England have Reg Dickason, an independent security advisor, with them on tour and he is also used by Cricket Australia, but Morris added that even with all possible protection no one can ever be completely safe.
"Anybody is vulnerable around the world now," he said. "No one can ever guarantee 100% safety anywhere in the world. The safety and security situation of the last 24 hours is clearly a major issue and we will be monitoring that."
Alastair Cook, the England opening batsman, said the significance of what happened in Pakistan moved beyond cricket. "It's a tragedy and it puts cricket into perspective when you talk about drawn Tests and things like that. It does hit home how quickly life can change when you are driving to a Test and stuff like that happens. Hopefully it won't ever happen again."
Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo