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Threat to Oz players a shame for India: Morris

February 05, 2010 10:05 IST

Rajasthan Royals chief executive Sean Morris on Thursday termed political threats to the Australian players participating in IPL III as a great "shame" for the country and said in India sports has become a soft target.

"It's a great shame isn't it? Sports has become a very easy target and sports in India, cricket in India has a lot more behind it, especially the passion and the people. It's a shame that any sport is being used for purely personal pride," Morris said in Mumbai.

"We are comfortable with our players' security. They are more than happy with the level of resource and infrastructure put in place for them. In the past they have got confidence in the IPL because the IPL has demonstrated that it can move the tournament in 18 days and provide everything. That's where the confidence comes from," he said.

"Let the IPL do what they want to do about security. They are doing a good job," he added.

Participation of Australian players in the third edition of the Indian Premier League lies in uncertainty after Shiv Sena has threatened that it will not allow any cricketer from Down Under to play in next month's Twenty20 event if racial attacks on Indians don't stop.

Asked whether the situation will prevent the Australians from turning up for the cash rich Twenty20 event, Morris replied in the negative.

"I'm pretty sure they will turn up. The players I know are pretty robust characters. They want to be comfortable and don't want any distractions. Once they get here, they'll be focussed on cricket and get on with it," Morris said.

"They are here to entertain and they will be fine when they get to that stage," he added.

Commenting on the snub to Pakistani players in IPL III, Morris said, "Its not about the nationality. You have to look at who you've got. You have to look at who do you need to strengthen your squad and one of the two criterion we had on our list is availability."

"It's got nothing to do with nationality. Nationality never ever came up in our conversation. They are great players but this year we have got our squad," he added.

According to Morris, with the exception of Shane Watson, majority of the Rajasthan Royals foreign recruits would be avaiable for the entire season.

"With the exception of Shane Watson, who is playing in an international series, we are lucky, infact we were careful to select players who might be available all the time. Graeme Smith might miss the first game. We have got all the players here for a vast majority of the season," he said.

Asked about the team management's thought process behind buying former Australian batsman Damien Martyn, Morris said, "Its classic Rajasthan Royals, something that no one expected.

If you look at our squad it's about balance. He might have finished his career some time back but his contribution is necessarily not just one end of the wicket. Young players can learn from players like him.

"But you look at the other end we have got a player like Adam Voges, who has got extraordinary record in T20 cricket."

"I think we have got a squad that will be successful.

We have tried to cover our bases and tried to get each player for a place," he added.

Morris said the team management was also happy with the progress made by left-arm pacer Kamran Khan, who had to quit previous year's tournament mid-way after being called for chucking.

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