Mumbai: Asserting that security of the players was paramount, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has said that the cover around the participating cricketers at the T20 event would be centrally-managed and the budget for it 10 times more than last year.
“Security is paramount for us. Players, officials and fans are all very important. Players’ security was the responsibility of the teams last year but this time we have gone venue by venue managing the security centrally. Of course we will coordinate with the teams,” Modi said at a function to unveil the new logo for IPL second season that starts 10 April.
Ahmedabad and Visakhapatnam are the two new venues added to the IPL season-II and Modi said that the talks were also on to get Nagpur and Dharmshala on the the roster, not divulging much on the much-awaited schedule, saying it was still being fine-tuned.
“We are talking to Dharmshala and Nagpur is also in fray. Schedule is still being fine-tunes as I speak,” he said.
Explaining the security plan, Modi revealed that the IPL will not leave to the teams this year and take control of the arrangements centrally.
“From the minute a (foreign) player lands here to the minute he leaves India; from the minute an Indian player enters the hotel to the minute he leaves, we will be managing the security. It’s a cumbersome template that was used during the India-England Test series last year,” he said.
“That was a rigorous plan put in place, shared with the government and the international board, in that case the England and Wales Cricket Board,” Modi said.
“Security budget will be 10 times more than last year,” he said without divulging the exact figure.
On the reported apprehensions of the foreign players and the host state governments, Modi said: “Three state governments (of the eight involved) have already given us their clearance in writing. The other five are expected to give it in a day or so. One state government had asked for a change of date and we are working it out.”
“No foreign player has so far contacted the IPL to say that he is apprehensive. They have never been uncomfortable about coming here. India is not Pakistan, we are a safe country,” he said.
Modi also rejected the Federation of International Cricketers Association’s (FICA) demands for a say in the security arrangements for IPL.
“The IPL is conducted by BCCI and the BCCI talks directly to the Boards. We have never been in touch with FICA. But of course they will talk to the other Boards and coordinate with them,” he said.