IPL will handle players’ security: Modi

March 10th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 10 (IANS) Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi Tuesday said players’ security will be centrally monitored by the league’s governing council and will be handled by the reputed South African security agency Nicolas Steyn.
Modi promised the best possible security arrangements for the IPL second edition, saying that there would be no comparison with the security provided for the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore last week when they were ambushed by terrorists.

He said security is paramount and from the moment foreign players land in India until they leave their security will be taken care of. There would be a central team overseeing security at all venues in coordination with police forces in the states where the matches are to be played.

“The security will be centrally monitored by the IPL. Last time players’ security was the responsibility of the respective franchisees. This time right from the day they (players) land in India to the time they leave, their security will be IPL’s responsibility,” he said.

Modi said security budget for the tournament has gone up 10 times this year as every measure has been taken to ensure safety of the players during their stay in India.

Modi said the players would get the security the England team got on their return to play the Test series following the Mumbai terror attacks in early December. In a comprehensive exercise, thousands of police and commandos were deployed around the team hotel and the stadium with snipers on the rooftops.

“Using the Chennai security template we were able to convince the England team to return to India and now we will apply the same security ring now,” said Modi.

Nicolas Steyn has been the incharge of 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2007 Cricket World Cup and will also be responsible for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

On reported concern expressed by players and officials in the aftermath of the Lahore attacks, Modi said that “not a single player, directly or indirectly, has contacted the IPL expressing his security apprehensions. In fact, I spoke to the two players who were quoted in the media.”

Referring to the survey by Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) indicating that a large majority of foreign IPL players wanted security stepped up, Modi said: “We don’t talk to FICA and won’t be doing it this time either.”

Modi, a vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said his board and IPL organisers had always talked to boards in other countries.

“We will again discuss the event and share details with the national cricket boards,” he said.

The IPL will be played April 10-May 24 across the country, with some modifications to the match schedule to avoid clashes of dates with the general elections and to avoid over-stretching security forces.

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