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Players voice IPL security concerns

The Australian and New Zealand Cricket Players' Association have prepared a list of security demands to the Indian Premier League board.

Australia's cricketers will present a list of security demands to the Indian Premier League (IPL) after militant threats against the competition, the players' union announced yesterday. Most Australian players involved in the IPL, which starts on March 12, met with Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers' Association chief in Sydney to be briefed on the latest security developments in India. The New Zealand Cricket Players' Association have voiced similar concerns.

Marsh said players were concerned by an independent report which revealed flaws in the existing security plans for the Twenty20 league and would demand that arrangements be upgraded. A Pakistan-based guerrilla group linked to al Qa'eda warned last week it may carry out attacks on sports events in India, principally the IPL, the men's field hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, insisted this year's tournament would go ahead in India as planned, accusing the media of overplaying security fears. "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," he said. Elsewhere, Craig Kieswetter scored a century to lead England to a 112-run victory over a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in his first appearance for his adopted homeland yesterday.

The Johannesburg-born opener was a last-minute addition to the one-day touring party after some eye-catching displays for the England Lions and announced his senior credentials in the most emphatic fashion with 143 off 123 deliveries as the home side closed on 258 for nine. India survived a late batting scare by the South Africa tailenders to clinch the first ODI in Jaipur by a single run yesterday.

* With agencies

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