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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

IPL chief plays down safety fears

Kevin Pietsersen is dismissed in Trinidad
Kevin Pietersen said he will not play in the IPL if security is inadequate

The Indian Premier League has said it will take sole responsibility for security for the 2009 tournament.

Some cricketers have expressed doubts about safety in India following armed attacks on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan last week.

But IPL commissioner Lalit Modi moved to calm players' security fears.

"From the minute a foreign player lands at the airport to the minute he leaves India, we will be in charge of his safety and security," said Modi.

"This goes for all Indian players as well and it applies the minute he checks into the team hotel until the end of the tournament."

The Board of Cricket and Control for India (BCCI) increased their security arrangements following the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November when England returned to play a two-Test series.

And Modi - who is also vice-president of the BCCI - said the IPL will adopt a similar security strategy.

"The security template is cumbersome and exhaustive and it is based on the plan put in place for the England team for their Test in Chennai after the Mumbai terrorist attacks," he said.

I can categorically say that not a single player has contacted us directly or indirectly saying they have apprehensions on security

IPL head Lalit Modi

"The same security process would be in place for each city and every team. The good part of this plan is that co-ordination is far easier since it's a centralised team which is in charge of security."

The second edition of the high-profile competition is scheduled to start on 10 April.

And Modi revealed South African firm Nicholls and Steyn will take charge of player security during their six-week spell in India, but refused to disclose the cost of the operation.

"Based on recent incidents, all security measures have been stepped up and Nicholls and Steyn are working closely with all state associations," he said.

"Last year, player security was the responsibility of the teams. Some of them had contracted Nicholls and Steyn and some of them had hired other security agencies.

"This year, the security of the teams and players is now under central security and under the IPL.

"Our security budget has increased tenfold. The funds will come from a central pool and there is a figure on it, but I cannot reveal it."

England batsman Kevin Pietersen - who is scheduled to play for Bangalore Royal Challengers - said he would not compete in the tournament if adequate security measures were not in place, while new Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram also expressed similar doubts.

But Modi said he has spoken to both players and explained the intensive security arrangements in place.

"I contacted them and spoke to them in detail," he said.

"I can categorically say that not a single player has contacted us directly or indirectly saying they have apprehensions on security.

606: DEBATE

"Having said that, I'm sure players would have apprehensions and we will take those concerns into account."

The IPL has yet to finalise its 2009 fixtures following a request from the Indian government to move matches which clashed with general election polling dates.

"We sent a revised schedule to all of the state governments and asked them on what days they would not want matches to be held in their cities," said Modi.

"We received a list of dates from state governments on which days they do not want matches held in their respective cities.

"We then incorporated changes in the schedule based on their responses and a new schedule was made which has gone back to the state governments for approval."

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see also
IPL will go ahead, declares Modi
06 Mar 09 |  Cricket
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
Australia postpone Pakistan tour
11 Mar 08 |  Cricket
Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia


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