Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cricketer Warne reconsidering IPL

The text of the emailed message reads, in rough translation:

“We warned the international community to play their role in getting the Kashmiris their right of self-determination and preventing India from committing brutalities in Kashmir, especially in Badipuar, raping the women and behaving inhumanly with Muslim prisoners.

“We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL [Indian Premier League - a cricket competition involving international players] and Commonwealth Games [to be held in Delhi later this year]. Nor should their people visit India - if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences.

"We, the mujahideen of 313 Brigade, vow to continue attacks all across India until the Indian Army leaves Kashmir and gives the Kashmiris their right of self-determination. We assure the Muslims of the subcontinent that we will never forget the massacre of the Muslims in Gujarat and the demolition of Babri Masjid [a Muslim mosque destroyed by Hindu militants in 1992]. The entire Muslim community is one body and we will take revenge for all injustices and tyranny. We again warn the Indian government to compensate for all its injustices, otherwise they will see our next action.

"From 313 Brigade"

Shilpa Shetty and Shane Warne in London.—AP

SYDNEY (AP): Former cricketing great Shane Warne says he's reconsidering whether to play in the Indian Premier League this season if threats of a terrorist attack were proven to be credible.
Warne, who is set to leave later this month for India to be captain-coach of the Rajasthan Royals, was quoted in Thursday's The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney that the threat by the militants with links to al-Qaida to target the IPL in March, the field hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games is a serious reason for concern.
''The threats of the past 24 hours have certainly got me thinking twice and is of deep concern to athletes across a number of sports,'' Warne said.
''If the threats are proven to be real, then organizers of the IPL may look at moving the tournament. We moved it last year at short notice and it can be done, and there is no way organizers will risk the safety of players and officials.''

South Africa could be an option as the country hosted the IPL last year due to safety concerns in India relating to a general election.
''I love the country and I'm committed to the Royals, but obviously if I'm given the advice it's unsafe that will prompt a serious rethink,'' Warne said. — AP

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey Australia wishes to make the following updated statement regarding the security threats made towards the 2010 Hockey World Cup.
Hockey Australia has received assessment from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in relation to threats made towards the 2010 Hockey World Cup in New Delhi, India.
They have advised that there has been no change to the threat environment in India.
Hockey Australia will continue to follow security protocols in relation to the players safety in India, however at this stage there is no change in our plans to participate in the 2010 Hockey World Cup.
“In line with Hockey Australia’s process of assessing emerging threats and changing conditions, should the current situation change, we would obviously reassess our position,” said Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson.

Brigade 313 warns hockey teams

A security guard looks on at the Major Dhyan Chand hockey stadium, New Delhi

Why is brigade 313 suddenly relevant? Because some phone recordings from 26/11, have revealed terror leaders’ conversations about impending 313’s possible motives including potential attacks of greater magnitude. It is also more relevant because of one more thing. Brigade 313 is a direct reference to the 313 warriors who fought in the battle of Badr, a decisive early battle in the history of Islam. The terror masterminds seemed to warn that something more sinister was being cooked up in their terror kilns. The two most important dates to watch out for, will be March the 13th (3/13) and March the 17th, the anniversary of the famous battle of Badr. And the attacks may not come from the sea route this time. -- From

By Sardar Khan

Security fears are on the rise after Brigade 313 of Kashmiri Mujahidin issued a fresh warning threatening to carry out attacks all over India like the one recently took place in Pune on Feb 13, killing nine people and wounding 55 at a bakery frequently visited by foreigners. Brigade 313 is said to be an operational arm of Al-Qaeda.
The recent warning delivered to Asian times online said,
“We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL [Indian Premier League - a cricket competition involving international players] and Commonwealth Games [to be held in Delhi later this year]. Nor should their people visit India - if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences”.
It’s not out of place to mention that recently Hindu extremist party Shiv Sena threatened it will not allow Indian Premier League cricket (IPL) matches in Mumbai, involving Australian players in retaliation to attacks taking place on Indian citizens/students in Australia.
Similarly, Shiv Sena has threatened to attack Pakistani athletes that prompted Pakistan hockey federation to request Govt to send a security inspection team to India that is due to travel to India in couple of days.
It may be remembered that after similar terrorist threats, English Badminton team had rushed home from Hyderabad Deccan without taking part in world Badminton championship last year.
Meanwhile, Australian Cricketers Association has also shown concerns after Pune bomb blast and said it was seeking security advice from experts. On the other hand, USA,UK and Australian Governments have also issued renewed travel advice to adopt extra care while traveling to India.
In this regard, former President of the cricket’s ruling body ICC Mr. Ehsan Mani in an exclusive interview to VOA said that India and the whole sub-continent was a dangerous region in terms of security and instability. He feared that any major terror incident during hockey world cup in Delhi or Commonwealth Games would jeopardize hosting of 2011 cricket world cup matches in India. exclusive

Australians whip Kiwis

New Zealand stumbled to heavy losses in both men's and women's hockey tests against Australia in Perth last night.
The women went down 4-1, with Krystal Forgesson scoring New Zealand's only goal in the eighth minute. Australia controlled the game, scoring one field goal and three penalty corners to take the match and the series.
The New Zealanders lost the first test 2-3 and went scoreless in the second on yesterday to go down 0-2.
New Zealand women's coach Mark Hager said while the team showed improvement from the second test, they faded in the second half.
"The tour highlighted areas for continual improvement, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to develop the younger players in the women's squad," Hager said.
The New Zealand men's team were overwhelmed 1-7, with only Andy Hayward's 23rd penalty corner goal saving them from complete humiliation.
Australia scored five field goals and two penalty corners.
New Zealand men's coach Shane McLeod said the team struggled with the speed of the game and need to improve their skill level before Friday's second test. A friendly game against the development squad is scheduled for Saturday.


Vidya: No Need to Panic

HOCKEY India (HI) president Vidya Stokes Wednesday allayed security apprehensions of New Zealand and Australian teams, saying the Indian government is taking all necessary steps to host a ’safe and secure’ World cup that begins here Feb 28.
Stokes said that no country has officially expressed any doubts about its participation in the World Cup.
‘There is no reason to panic. We are going to make them (teams) feel comfortable and secure in India,’ Stokes told IANS.
‘We are in touch with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and they have not expressed any apprehensions about security. FIH is dealing with the teams and they are satisfied with the arrangements,’ Stokes said.
Asked about the reports of Hockey New Zealand and Australia re-assessing the security situation, Stokes said: ‘All teams are participating and there should be no reason why one team should feel otherwise. Every country knows that it is an important sporting event for India and we cannot afford to be lax on the security front.’
‘Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit Tuesday told the union government that they would take care of the security of team hotels, stadium etc. She has given the assurance and the government is totally capable of handling the situation,’ Stokes added.
Hockey NZ chief executive Hilary Poole was quoted as saying in New Zealand media Wednesday that the safety of the players, coaches and team management was of significant importance and it made sense to further assess the situation before sending them to New Delhi.
‘We have been monitoring this situation all along. But the events over the past 24 hours have led us to reassess the situation,’ Poole said.
Australian players are also awaiting a security reassessment, its association said.
Global terror network Al Qaeda’s Pakistan arm has warned of attacks in India, particularly targeting international sports events like the Commonwealth Games, the Hockey World Cup and the IPL cricket tournament.