Sydney: Australian cricketers are set to play in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official delivered a secret briefing to players in Christchurch yesterday.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the key piece of information is that the DFAT’s travel advice remains unchanged from last year when Australia visited India without any security issues.
Members of the Australian Twenty20 squad who are contracted to Indian franchises attended the 20-minute briefing session.
Independent security consultant Reg Dickason and Australian Cricketers’Association boss Paul Marsh were on a telephone hook-up.
It is understood the players were told that a recent threat from the al-Qaeda-linked 313 Brigade was not credible.
“As you know, the travel advisory for India hasn’t changed in 12 months. The purpose today was to give the players as much information as possible. It’s not just the cricketers involved. We’ve got staff going to the IPL, there’s a whole lot of state physios, coaches, state players,” Cricket Australia general manager Michael Brown, was quoted, as saying after the meeting.
“Our position is just saying, ‘Look, this is what we know’. The IPL isn’t an issue for us because we don’t have an Australian team – but we are privy to a whole lot of information that we get in our normal processes. DFAT said they would be happy to give the players a personal briefing. We said we would take the invitation,” he added.
Australia’s other IPL players and staff who are not in New Zealand, including retired stars such as Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, will receive the same information tomorrow.
“The reality is we’re living in a world where terrorism is part of our lives. Right up until the day you depart, it can change. Who would have thought about London, who would have thought about Mumbai, Lahore? The reality is you’ve got to make your decisions based on the best information,” Brown said.
“The advice simply from the government is that the travel advisory for India hasn’t changed. It doesn’t mean it can’t change between now and the start of the tournament. No decisions were made today. It was purely an information session. We want people to make informed decisions,” he said. (ANI)