Cricket

Smith: IPL security a concern

2010-02-22 16:20
Graeme Smith (AFP)
Johannesburg - South Africa captain Graeme Smith cautioned on Sunday that his country’s ongoing tour of India should not be construed as a guarantee that Proteas players who have signed to play, or are already contracted to play, in the IPL are comfortable with security arrangements for the tournament.

Smith returned to South Africa after the second Test to allow a finger injury to heal and will miss the three-match ODI series which began in Jaipur on Sunday following a reported terrorist threat in the city.

“The guys were nervous before the game but we need to trust the process we have always used with CSA and our players association, SACA,” Smith said. “We would prefer to play in a more peaceful environment but that’s the nature of the world we live in at the moment.”

SACA chief executive, Tony Irish, said, “The Jaipur threat was investigated by CSA’s security consultants, Nicholls Steyn and Associates. We will rely on their advice as to its legitimacy, what level of risk it presents to the team and what security measures are necessary.”

Smith and Irish concurred that the IPL, however, represented a very different set of circumstances to a national tour where security was more easily controlled.

“Players remain concerned about the security issues for IPL. This is a big event with lots of different players, stadia, hotels and travel arrangements. The help and assistance we get for this event from our players association will be very important to us. Everyone is monitoring the situation very closely at the moment,” Smith said.

“The IPL is an Indian domestic tournament and the players go there as individuals playing for eight different franchise teams. The Boards of the different countries can’t really be expected to review the security plans so it falls to the players associations in each country to do this for players.

We take that responsibility very seriously. I can’t think of anything more important than player safety and we won’t compromise in any way on that,” Irish said.

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