Melbourne: Worried by Shiv Sena's threat to the Australian cricketers, Ricky Ponting and his teammates might skip this year's Indian Premier League, media reports claimed here on Thursday.
Reacting to Shiv Sena's threat not to allow the Australian cricketers play in India as long as attack on the Indians doesn't stop Down Under, the worried players got in touch with their franchisees, who allegedly refused to entertain their security concerns.
Ticked off by the attitude of the franchisees, the Australian players might skip IPL, according to The Age.
"Australian cricketers have been refused access to security plans for the Indian Premier League and may withdraw from the billion-dollar tournament as a result," the daily said.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who is contracted with Kolkata Knight Riders, made it clear that the players would demand safety assurances before leaving for India.
"The IPL is a couple of months away yet and I'm sure CA and all the players and the players' association will do everything they have done for every tour we have been on for the last 10 years to check out some of these threats and most importantly keep the players up to date with everything they are finding out," Ponting said.
"That happens on every tour we go on and we will be expecting and demanding that happens again," Ponting added.
Chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association Paul Marsh said ACA was concerned with the development.
"The ACA is concerned any time there is a specific threat made against Australian cricketers," he said.
"The players rely on us to ensure that security is properly assessed and a recommendation is provided to them. If the IPL won't allow us to review arrangements for this year's event, how can we recommend to our players that they play in the event?" he asked.
Federation of International Cricketers' Associations Tim May was baffled by the attitude of the IPL teams, most of which didn't even bother to respond.
"We've only had one response to date and it was basically, 'No, we're not going to give that information out to you. If you don't want to come, don't come,' " said May, a former Australian off-spinner.
"I think any reasonable person would realise that such an arrogant and inhumane approach to such a sensitive and important issue as human safety is well short of the mark," he added.
Australian players with IPL contracts include star players like Ponting, Shane Watson, Brett Lee and Mike Hussey, besides retired heroes Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.