MELBOURNE: After fears of a mass pull-out of international cricketers from the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to terror threats, there are reports of contingency plans to shift the next year’s World Cup from the Indian subcontinent to Australia and New Zealand.
Reacting to reported contigency, revealed by New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan Sunday, International Cricket Council (ICC) executive Haroon Lorgat said they will do everything to keep the World Cup in India.
Vaughan has indicated that there were plans to move the World Cup from India to Australia or New Zealand if the security situation deteriorated.
"You cannot move the timing of the tournament, in March-April, so really there’s only Australia, New Zealand and South Africa who could host it," Vaughan was quoted as saying in The Australian.
"By tightening the security measures around the teams, we somehow have to make it safe. Otherwise the sport will struggle to survive if we cannot find a solution."
Lorgat insisted world cricket would not let the sport be derailed by terrorism, as has happened in Pakistan.
"The World Cup is the big piece of work that we have to deliver and we intend to do so," Lorgat said.
"The whole issue of security is dynamic, but we will assess it very carefully and implement whatever measures are necessary to ensure safety and security. I do not share the same concerns for India as Pakistan."
There is a heightened security concerns in the cricketing world following terrorist threats from Al Qaeda that warned players against taking part in the IPL, the hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. Indian cricket officials have, however, ruled out transferring the IPL to South Africa like last year.
Australian security expert Reg Dickason delivered his report to various player unions late last week and it is understood the report says the terrorist threats are real.
Head of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), Tim May, Sunday said players were unsure about playing in the IPL after the security report, adding the Twenty20 tournament has a number of significant security challenges.(IANS)