Former stars - IPL must go on

Botham, Waugh and Pollock all voice support

Last Updated: 10/03/10 12:25pm

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Waugh: backing IPL

Waugh: backing IPL

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Former cricketers Sir Ian Botham, Steve Waugh and Shaun Pollock have urged the current generation not to give in to terrorism by opting out of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"You can't give in and be seen to give in otherwise we won't play anywhere."
Sir Ian Botham Quotes of the week

The lucrative six-week competition is gearing up for its third edition, with the first match scheduled for Mumbai on March 12.

The build-up has been marred by a reported terrorist threat hanging over the country with a number of high-profile players, especially from Australia, hinting they were giving consideration to pulling out of the tournament because of concerns over their safety.

"You have a lot of big sporting events coming up, the World Cup in South Africa, the Olympics in London, and you have to make a stand," said Botham.

"You can't give in and be seen to give in otherwise we won't play anywhere."

Former Australia captain Waugh admitted times had changed since his playing days, with sports stars seemingly now considered a major target for terrorists.

"There are more concerns these days," said Waugh. "When I was playing you felt, as a sports person, you were off limits, but that's not the case these days.

Targets

"The landscape has changed with the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team and the Togo football team at the African Nations Cup.

"As players you want the best information possible but at the end of the day you can't give in. You have to go over and play.

"If you don't you give more power to the terrorists, but it's a personal choice and you can't blame anyone if they decide not to go."

The 2009 IPL took place in South Africa due to security concerns related to the Indian election taking place around the same time, but ex-South Africa all-rounder Pollock added: "It's the Indian Premier League so you need to have it take place there every year.

"If you fail to have it in India you are depriving the Indian fans who are so passionate, and it's their tournament after all."

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