Mumbai: IPL chairman Lalit Modi has dismissed security fears ahead of the second edition of the tournament, insisting it was wrong to compare the situation in India to Pakistan.
“We are a very safe country. You are sitting here, I am sitting here, we all are sitting here. We are not Pakistan. I really see no concern,” Modi said.
Security concerns around a tournament that attracts a large number of leading international players had intensified following last week’s attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan, which left six players and a coach wounded and eight people dead.
“Let’s not liken the situation in another country to be the same as our country,” Modi, also a vice-president of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said, as he unveiled plans for the tournament starting on 10 April.
“After the Mumbai blasts, we still had games in Chennai (and Mohali),” he added of the two tests played by England, who resumed their aborted tour in December after receiving security assurances following the killing of 179 people in November’s attacks.
Despite media reports suggesting international players had reservations about travelling to India, Modi said that not one had officially voiced security fears and that all contracted players available would be taking part.
The IPL chairman, however, said security would be beefed up as a precautionary measure.
“In terms of what that security plan is, it is a very cumbersome template. We did the exercise after the Mumbai blasts, for the Chennai match against England,” he said.
“We had a rigorous plan put in place, contingency plan put in place, which was shared both with the security forces, government and the international board and implemented them without a hitch,” he said.
He said: “We are now taking that as a safe template and applying that to every city that we are going to host matches — that’s why our security budget has gone up by 10 times.”