Kevin Pietersen has hinted that he may withdraw from the upcoming season of the IPL, given the fragile security situation across the subcontinent.
"I will be consulting as many people as I can but if I don't think it is right, then I will not be going," Pietersen told News of the World. "Hopefully, the security will come right for India, but if everybody pulls out of the IPL, it would be a disaster, a catastrophe and world cricket would really be on a down. India is the force behind most of world cricket but there are things we have to go through before we go."
The second edition of the IPL will be played from April 10 to May 24, and will have Pietersen turning out for the Bangalore Royal Challengers, after being signed for a record $1.55 million at the player auction in February. Andrew Flintoff (Chennai Super Kings), Ravi Bopara (Kings XI Punjab) Owais Shah and Paul Collingwood (both Delhi Daredevils) are among his team-mates who have also signed lucrative contracts.
"After the final Test against West Indies [in Trinidad], I will be speaking to Bangalore, to the ECB, to my agent and to security advisors," Pietersen said. "Then I will be a lot clearer in my thoughts than I am now. Since the terror attacks in Mumbai we are all now more mindful of our own security arrangements." Security for games in the subcontinent has also become a bigger issue after the recent attacks on the touring Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan.
Pietersen said there was a cloud hanging over England's proposed tour of Pakistan in February next year as well. "I think, at the moment, it is unlikely people will be comfortable travelling there," he said. "It is very, very sad -I feel sorry for the Pakistan cricketers.
"I feel sorry for everybody in Pakistan but everybody thought sportsmen were safe, they thought cricketers were safe but obviously they are not. I am shocked, it [the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers] is a tragedy and a catastrophe - not just in sport but in the world. I don't think anyone would want to travel to Pakistan at the moment.
"There has never been an incident like that. Everyone said cricketers were safe but now they are not safe in the subcontinent, so it is very worrying."