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.