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Pietersen plans IPL safety talks

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were highly valued in the IPL auction

England's Kevin Pietersen will pull out of the Indian Premier League if his security fears are not dealt with.

Security has become a major issue after gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, on Tuesday.

Pietersen plans to hold talks with the England and Wales Cricket board, the Bangalore Royal Challengers - his IPL team - as well as security advisers.

"If I don't think it's right then I'll not be going," batsman Pietersen told the News of the World newspaper.

If the ECB find it is unsafe, I'd be pretty silly not to follow that sort of a lead

Dimitri Mascarenhas
Last month Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were the most costly cricketers in the IPL auction when they were picked up for $1.55m (1.1m) each, with the Lancashire bowler going to Chennai.

"Hopefully the security will come right for India but if everybody pulls out of the IPL then it would be a disaster, a catastrophe, and world cricket would really be on a down," added Pietersen.

England batsman Paul Collingwood has also expressed his security concerns regarding the IPL, although he still expects to play in the tournament.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that something like this raises concerns in your mind," said Collingwood last week.

"But I'm not about to make any decisions on it, the right thing to do is to wait and see how things go."

Collingwood, who has signed a contract with the Delhi Daredevils, is among seven England-based cricketers set to feature in the second year of the big-money competition from 10 April.

"As things unfold we will know more about what is being put in place by the IPL, but having been back to India before Christmas the security we had felt pretty good and at this stage I'm continuing as normal," he added.

"Of course, when something as tragic as this happens, thoughts do cross your mind and you do question things a bit."

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IPL chairman Lalit Modi has said there is no chance of the tournament being postponed despite a request from India's home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram.

India's financial capital Mumbai was the target of a series of calculated terrorist attacks in November 2008, when 170 people were killed, but England resumed a two-Test tour soon afterwards.

Hampshire's Dimitri Mascarenhas is contracted to play for Rajasthan and said he will be taking advice from a variety of people before he commits to going.

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"I'll be speaking with the owner of the Rajasthan Royals and captain Shane Warne and discussing the security arrangements but if they are happy that it's going to be safe then I think I'll be happy with that," he said.

Mascarenhas continued: "At this stage it's a pretty scary thought but in a couple of months time you never know what's going to happen.

"If all security measures can be met, I'd love to go to India but if guarantees can't be met I won't be risking my life to go and play cricket. Things can get promised and not delivered but that can happen everywhere."

The all-rounder is not centrally contracted to the England and Wales Cricket Board, which means it would not be able to insist should he decide to go.

"If the ECB find it is unsafe, I'd be pretty silly not to follow that sort of a lead.

"I'm not saying I will definitely go, it's one of those things where you just have to weigh up what's more important and life is pretty important. If everyone starts pulling out then I will jump on that bandwagon for sure."


Sean Morris, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said a period of consultation with both the Indian authorities and players would follow ahead of the Twenty20 tournament.

While former England coach Duncan Fletcher has urged England's players to think carefully about playing in the IPL, leading Australian cricketers, including Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Dave Hussey, Shane Watson and Brad Hodge have vowed to play.

"You're never safe anywhere, to be fair," Watson said. "It's part and parcel of the world environment at the moment, more than just a certain region.

"I love playing cricket and if the opportunity is there to go to India, I will be there with bells on."

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see also
English stars to take IPL advice
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
India calls for IPL cricket delay
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Sri Lanka cricketers arrive home
04 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Hunt for Lahore cricket attackers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Pakistan faces loss of cricket tours
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Gunmen shoot Sri Lanka cricketers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
ICC considers World Cup changes
17 Feb 09 |  Cricket
Australia postpone Pakistan tour
11 Mar 08 |  Cricket
England to tour with full squad
07 Dec 08 |  England
Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia

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