Mar 05, 2009 at 08:07pm IST

IPL players express concern on security level

New Delhi: As a fallout of the Lahore attack, the Indian Premiere League of cricket could be the latest casualty.

Out for a duck in the Napier one-day match and bowling two overs which were quite forgettable for giving 19 runs, Jacob Oram made little impact on the field.

But off it, he seems to have opened up a can of worms, saying: “I think there are definite questions to be asked. The IPL has given me an economic freedom that I didn't even dream about, but I have a family now. Cricket's important, but it is not as important as my life.”

FEAR OF TERROR: IPL organisors have assured that security will be beefed up to highest order during matches.

He hinted quite clearly that he was scared to come and play in the sub-continent after the attack on the Sri Lankan players in Lahore on Tuesday.

“(IPL chief) Lalit Modi and the IPL stakeholders have given assurances that the security will be beefed up for the event. I'll be thinking twice, before going to play in the sub-continent," Oram added.

Indian politician and former BCCI president Sharad Pawar refuted that the comparison with Pakistan made any sense.

“I do not think in India one should worry as when in pakistan. Our security forces are quite competent and our public is alert. I do not think that that type of situation is here,” Pawar said, refusing to allow India to be tainted with the same brush as Pakistan.

Pawar's statement comes just a day after the Union Home Mminister P Chidambaram told CNN-IBN that he would prefer if the IPL was rescheduled.

"We are at the time looking for if the dates could be adjusted so that the paramilitary forces are not stretched too much,” Chidambaram had said.

While IPL bosses insist that tweaking the schedule could do the trick, the Lahore attacks have undoubtedly cast a shadow. Security fears are greater than ever before and the federation of International Cricketers' Associations' has asked for more assurances, saying: “We have written to the Indian Premier League on behalf of our members requesting an ability for player representatives to be involved in the evaluation and construction of security for the Event - an increasing number of players have expressed a desire for an independent level of comfort surrounding security arrangements re this Event.”

Last year, the Jaipur blasts in the middle of the IPL didn't derail the tournament but after the Sri Lankan team's tryst with terror, cricket is unlikely to be governed by the same rules again.

Meanwhile, Punajb's Deputy Chief Minister,Sukhbir Badal says Punjab is ready to hold IPL matches provided the State's forces remain within the State.

"Punjab is ready to provide security to IPL if Punjab forces are allowed to stay within the State and not moved out as demanded by the Center for elections in other States," said Badal.