IPL/Lalit Modi update

Spotted the following comments on Lalit Modi’s Twitter stream: [My comments in paranthesis]

3:51pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

I have been sent messages thru various quarters to entertain Fica Preisdent Tim May. Unfortunately we do not recognise Fica or any agents.

[Tell us why? What in the rule book proscribes the IPL from “recognizing” agents and/or associations of players, other than your innate unwillingness to be questioned?]

3:54pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

Been told Ricky Ponting pressuring players not to come. Maybe its due to the fact he was dropped from KKR.

[What’s with the ad hominem riff? Been told by who? I’ve been told all sorts of things about the monetary considerations involved in the granting of franchises — but that doesn’t mean I can say what I please, about LKM or anyone else, unless I have some proof I can put on the table. “I’ve been told”, and three rupees, will buy you a cutting chai, dude.]

3:49pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

We will allow replacement for those who decide not to show up. They risk being in future IPL. The call will be there’s.

[Right. Typical — there is plenty more in the sea, if you don’t come we will look at the B grade players, and if they don’t come there is always Grade C… — anything, rather than actually sit down and address legitimate concerns].

3:50pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

We will not be dictated by players associations where to play. DLF IPL will be played in India.

[Good for you. Then again, no players’ association has till date attempted to “dictate” where the IPL should be held. What they have said is, we have some security concerns, we would like to be heard, please could you brief us on arrangements?]

3:55pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

Chances Champions League will be in India – will teams say they will not come ??? Doubt it.

[If the atmosphere at the time is vitiated by terrorist threats, foreign teams at that time will ask for reassurance. What’s wrong with that? When we went to Pakistan, we actually sent our own security people there to independently check out the arrangements, rather than accept the Islamabad government’s assurances. Sauce for the goose. Incidentally, look what happened when one team decided to go by governmental “assurances” — remember Sri Lanka?]

3:56pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter
Australia tour to india in oct – will australian players association dictate them not coming then ? Doubt it.
[The Australian Cricket Association — Cricket Australia — will then do what the CA has done in the past. It will discuss the security arrangements with the BCCI; it will send its people to inspect the arrangements, and then CA will give an all clear to the players if they are satisfied. What is being forgotten here is, a bilateral tour is between the two boards. The IPL however is a different kettle of fish — the boards have nothing to do with it, players appear in their individual capacities. Therefore neither CA nor any other board can, or will, get into the security question — that is left to the players and/or their representatives, whom of course you do not recognize].
3:58pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter

South african players – touring india as we speak – securtity is fine for them now as provided by the Governement. All happy now.

[See above. The ongoing tour is bilateral. Security was discussed between the BCCI and the UCBSA, which are the two stakeholders organizing the tour. And the government is guaranteeing security. Isn’t that all that the players’ associations are asking for? So what is your problem again?]
3:58pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter
How will that situation change in two weeks – so what’s the motivation about these issues being raised now is the question one needs to ask.
[That situation changes in two weeks because, while the UCBSA is green-lighting this tour, played under the ICC’s aegis, the UCBSA is not in a position to tell individual players to go play in the IPL, because that tournament does not fall under the ICC framework, and is therefore outside of the boards’ purview. Sorry to repeat myself, but…]
And finally:
4:05pm, Feb 24 from UberTwitter
We allow only 4 intl players per team. Few miss – no issues. We have great talent in each team. More oppertunity for replacement to others.
[Awesome! Tum nahin tho aur koi sahi — and we thought feudalism was on the wane in this country.]
Grant the man this — he is value for the time you spend following him. Here — do it yourself.
In related, Dileep Premachandran on why the IPL should stay in India.
I agree, entirely. Neither Lalit Modi, nor the government of India, nor the franchises, should be seen as bowing to terrorist blackmail and shift the IPL out of India. [Again — lack of adequate security or rather, the GoI’s concern that it could not provide adequate security, was why it was moved to SA last year — a fact conveniently forgotten in the current hoopla].
But does it then follow that neither Modi, nor the GoI, should be prepared to discuss with players and their representatives any concerns they might have?

What security? Which concern?

I’d like to see the IPL being staged — and successfully — in India.

To paraphrase one of Virender Sehwag’s memorable quotes during the last edition in South Africa, this is the Indian Premier League, not the International Premier League. Besides, India needs to stage the IPL here to underline the point that terrorists from across the border cannot hold this country to hostage, that lunatic elements both internal and external do not get to dictate our lives.

That said, just stumbled on this WTF quote from the commissioner himself:

“We are going to have the tournament in India. I can’t see any reason why we should move it at this point in time. The media is reacting to every fringe group saying security is a problem,” Modi told BBC Sport in reaction to the concerns.

The media is reacting? The media didn’t sponsor this threat assessment — various countries did. The media didn’t put forward a list of security-related demands. And the media is certainly not the author of this quote:

“The guys were nervous before the game but we need to trust the process we have always used with CSA and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA),” Smith toldSupersport. “We would prefer to play in a more peaceful environment but that’s the nature of the world we live in at the moment.

“Players remain concerned about the security issues for IPL. This is a big event with lots of different players, stadia, hotels and travel arrangements. The help and assistance we get for this event from our players association will be very important to us. Everyone is monitoring the situation very closely at the moment.”

Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive, said, “The Jaipur threat was investigated by CSA’s security consultants, Nicholls Steyn and Associates. We will rely on their advice as to its legitimacy, what level of risk it presents to the team and what security measures are necessary.”

He also agreed that the IPL represented a very different set of circumstances to a national tour where security was more easily controlled. “The IPL is an Indian domestic tournament and the players go there as individuals playing for eight different franchise teams,” Irish said. “The boards of the different countries can’t really be expected to review the security plans so it falls to the players associations in each country to do this for players. We take that responsibility very seriously. I can’t think of anything more important than player safety and we won’t compromise in any way on that.”

None of this is to suggest that the IPL panic, and shift base. Ignoring threats, or passing them off as media concoctions, could however be short-sighted, and the blowback if something does happen could be fatal to the future of the IPL. A far better option would be for Modi to take the various stakeholders’ concerns seriously, to work with the respective associations and the Federal Home Ministry to ensure immaculate security.

Or he can continue to play blind, deaf and dumb — especially dumb. And hope like hell hubris doesn’t bite him in the butt.

Meanwhile, we have a game on today. Thoughts, if any, on Twitter — and back on here tomorrow.