Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi launched a snide attack on Australian captain Ricky Ponting, saying that he is trying to prevent other Australian players from taking part because he was dropped from the Kolkata Knight Riders side.
Using Twitter, Modi said:”[I”ve] been told Ricky Ponting is pressuring players not to come. Maybe it”s due to the fact he was dropped from KKR.”
Modi was responding to a report that Ponting had called for a united front from all players on the issue, so if one pulled out, they should all pull out.
He received resistance from retired stars Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, for who IPL salaries count for much of their annual earnings now they no longer represent Australia.
Modi also criticised Australia”s player association suggesting they had ulterior motives for not wanting players to participate in the IPL.
“South African players are touring India as we speak – security is fine for them now as provided by the Indian government. Australia tour India in October – will the Australian Cricketers” Association dictate them not coming then? Doubt it,” Modi tweeted.
Australian players are awaiting a recommendation from security expert Reg Dickason, who has investigated the security plans in place for the IPL after Al Qaeda threatened to carry out an attack on the tournament.
It will be left to individual players to decide if they wish to chase the big money on offer at the risk of their safety.