Warne will play next match: Modi

Australian stars Shane Warne and Shane Watson may quit the Indian Premier League after terrorist bombings killed scores of people.

updated: May 23, 2008 12:06 IST
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New Delhi:

DLF Indian Premier League Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi on Thursday reaffirmed that all matches in Jaipur would be played according to the schedule.

Modi rubbished reports that Rajasthan Royals' skipper Shane Warne -- along with teammates Shane Watson and Graeme Smith -- was quitting the tournament due to the bomb blasts in Jaipur, saying the trio was already on its way to the Pink City for the next match there.

"All Australian players and the team is now going to play in Jaipur tomorrow. We are looking forward to it. Yes, they were little bothered but now they are assured. They are on their way to the city," Modi said.

Rajasthan Royals will take on Bangalore Royal Challengers in a home encounter this Saturday.

According to media reports in Australia, Warne, Watson and South African skipper Smith were considering quitting the tournament after the Jaipur serial blasts that claimed more than 60 lives on Tuesday.

Assuring that there would be no compromise on security, Modi said the players' accommodation and the Sawai Mansingh Stadium would be completely cordoned off.

"I am not at liberty to describe security arrangements but yes, we have the security arrangements beefed up. We are requesting everybody to come in the stadium without bags, lighters, matches or bottles. Also the players area would be totally cordoned off and nobody would be allowed to go near the players," he said.

Jaipur team CEO Fraser Castellino also said that the matches would continue as per schedule, but amidst extra security.

What earlier reports said

A section of the media had reported that Warne, Watson, Smith and Jaipur team manager Darren Berry -- now holidaying in Goa -- were very scared after the incident and were refusing to return to Jaipur. They were even considering leaving India altogether.

"(There's) a real option of getting on the plane and getting out of here. We are not comfortable at all. This is an extremely uncomfortable situation," Berry was quoted as saying by Macquarie National News.

Berry said his family members in Australia were concerned about his safety in India.

"Cricket has been good to me, but I have a wife and three kids back in Melbourne and they are less than impressed with the part of the world I am in." Berry said Warne was also worried due to the bomb blasts that killed more than 60 people in the Pink City.

"I was talking to Warnie and asked, 'If this blast had occurred a day before we were due to fly over here, would we still have come?' he said there was no way we would have come.

"It is terrifying. To think I was standing in the exact location the bombs went off only two days ago...It was a couple of kilometres from the team hotel.

"The whole country has gone into lockdown."

Rajasthan Royals are next meeting Bangalore Royal Challengers in their home leg encounter on May 17 and although IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has assured that extra security will be put in place for the tie, Berry is anxious about the evening. "That is the part that scares me.

"These games are getting big crowds. People over here tell me this has nothing to do with cricket, it is political ...But if some people are prepared to cause this type of damage, detonating bombs in peak-hour to harm the most number of people possible...50,000 people come to the stadium to watch the games," Berry said.

(With PTI inputs)