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Indian Premier League will not move, insists Lalit Modi

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IPL will stay in India - Modi

By Simon Austin

Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi has insisted the tournament will not be moved, despite concerns raised by a report into security at the event.

Australia's players have refused to commit to the tournament until issues raised in the report are addressed.

But a bullish Modi told BBC Sport: "We are going to have the tournament in India. I can't see any reason why we should move it at this point in time.

"The media is reacting to every fringe group saying security is a problem."

Despite Modi's assurances, the Australian players intend to present a list of security demands to the IPL.

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The independent report, written by British security expert Reg Dickason, raised "serious" concerns about safety at the IPL, according to the head of the Australian Cricketers' Association, Paul Marsh.

"From the outset it is important to reinforce that players want to play in this year's IPL," he said.

"However, the independent report has identified some serious concerns with aspects of the current security process.

"Specifically, these concerns relate to the reported direct threat against the event and the status and implementation of the IPL's security plan."

Last Wednesday, Asia Times online published a message reported to be from the 313 Brigade, an operational arm of al-Qaeda, that threatened the IPL, Commonwealth Games and Hockey World Cup, all of which are being held in India.

This followed a threat against Australian players competing in the IPL from the right-wing Hindu group Shiv Sena.

Speaking from Mumbai, Modi insisted everything was being done to make the tournament secure, although he conceded: "Nobody in the world can safeguard the safety of the players in any tournament.

"All we have to do is ensure we are putting on the best security. Safety is paramount to us and we are working with the national and state governments to ensure we have good security in place.

"It is being discussed and upgraded on a daily basis with all the key stakeholders and we will continue to monitor that.

"At the end of the day we have to ensure the safety plans we put in place and the way we conduct them are absolutely top notch."

Modi, the IPL commissioner, warned that the tournament would not be unduly affected by the withdrawal of "one or two overseas players" though.

The tournament is a huge success - we have a huge credibility, we have the top 200 players in the world

Lalit Modi

"The heavens aren't going to fall if that happens," he commented. "This is an Indian tournament, we have the key Indian players and only a few international players.

"We have no worries at all. You have to understand that the market for us is India.

"The tournament is a huge success - we have a huge credibility, we have the top 200 players in the world. It's not only dependent on foreign players, although they are part of it."

The majority of the eight IPL franchises begin training next week.

Eight English players look set to compete in this season's competition which starts on 12 March.

Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan, who miss the first three weeks of action because of England's tour of Bangladesh, will be joined by Graham Napier, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Owais Shah, Michael Lumb and Ravi Bopara, who will be there for the duration.

The IPL took place in South Africa last year following concerns that security might be stretched in India because of the national elections.

Essex all-rounder Napier issued a statement on his website saying he was waiting to see a security report.

He added: "Once I've digested that I will wait to see what the ECB recommends for its players. Obviously I hope it will be possible to play in the IPL come March, as planned."



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see also
Players worried over IPL security
18 Feb 10 |  Cricket
IPL sets date to name new teams
17 Feb 10 |  Cricket
English club linked with IPL team
16 Feb 10 |  Cricket
Deccan beat Bangalore to win IPL
24 May 09 |  Cricket
IPL will be staged outside India
22 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Warne's Royals win inaugural IPL
02 Jun 08 |  Cricket


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