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ECB: KP, Freddie may have to skip IPL
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London: England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday raised fresh doubts over the participation of star cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen in the second edition of the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) in India.

The ECB said players' safety in the mega-bucks event is their number one priority following the Lahore massacre that left some Sri Lankan cricketers injured.

KP and Freddie each fetched 1.1 million pounds in last month's auction while Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara have also signed.

Dimi Mascarenhas and Graham Napier are due to play next month too but England board have no control over them since they are non-contracted players.

"We need to make sure security provisions are in place. It's the No 1 priority of our board, simple as that."

Former England ODI skipper Collingwood, who signed for the Delhi Daredevils, admitted that he was anxious about touring India after the attack in Lahore.

"I'd be lying if I said something like this didn't raise concerns but I'm not about to make any decisions on the IPL.

The agents of Pietersen and Flintoff both said it is too early to make a decision. But tycoon Vijay Mallya, who signed KP for his Bangalore Royal Challengers side, insists security will not be an issue.

"I am confident the England players will be secure. Saying they should not come is an over-reaction,” Mallya said.

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