Aussies told not to identify nationality
Melbourne: After threat from right-wing party Shiv Sena, Australian cricketers have been advised not to venture out of their hotels alone or wear national uniforms and other clothing identifying their nationality during their participation in the IPL.
The same advise has also been given to the Australian hockey team which will be soon in New Delhi to compete in the World Cup, starting February 28.
Bal Thackerey-led Shiv Sena had threatened that they will not let Australian cricketers play in Mumbai and Nagpur, venues for IPL matches, in the wake of attacks on Indians Down Under.
Bob Nicholls, the Australian chief of security for the IPL, said they were satisfied with the security arrangements but as precautionary measures they have given a list of do`s and don`ts to their players.
"The times that we would be most concerned about is when they are out and about on their own, we will be giving them a list of dos and don`ts. It is pretty straightforward, the greater risk is if people are going out on their own rather than in a team environment, and not to go out advertising that they are Aussies, wearing Aussie shirts.
"The same advice has been given to the Australian hockey team [for the World Cup]," Nicholls was quoted as saying by `The Age`. Although, the threat is presently being considered on the lower scale of the danger rating, but the overall threat to players in India is described as "high".
Nicholls said if the Shiv Sena threat developed then specific plans for Australian players would be used.
"The security situation in India is not what we would like it to be, there are concerns, the threat level does remain high. There are concerns generally outside of the Shiv Sena thing. Shiv Sena is obviously a particular area of concern for the Aussies, but from our perspective, we look at the team as a whole," he said.
"And what I can say is that the level of protection we are providing for the general threat is greater than if we were implementing security strategy purely for the Shiv Sena threat, therefore we believe the players will be safe. At the moment there doesn`t seem to be any acts of violence happening against Australians in India."
Security experts have warned of a possible terrorist attack during the IPL and the level of threat has been described as similar to that around the time of the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
Twenty-one Australian players are listed to play in next month`s IPL, including Shane Watson, Cameron White, David Hussey, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Ryan Harris, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait.
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