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After nearly a month of wrangling, the concerns of the foreign players regarding security during the IPL seem to have eased with Reg Dickason, the independent security expert appointed by the player unions from Australia, England and South Africa, receiving an official update from the league's security experts.

Tim May, the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) chief, called the development a welcome step in the on-going discussions, which came to a standstill after the IPL's initial refusal to cooperate.

"The one outstanding issue (as) per Reg's report is that while Nicholls-Steyn's (the agency in charge of IPL security) plan is sound - it is nothing more than a series of recommendations that are made to local security authorities," May said. "They may or may not be agreed to by the local authorities."

In fact, that was Dickason's biggest concern, and he advised the player bodies to make a note of that in their meetings with the players. He also requested the IPL for formal confirmation from the local authorities that the recommendations would be implemented. "Despite media comment from IPL officials that such government assurance has been given - Nicholls-Steyn have advised Reg that they can not get such assurances," May said.

To avoid any further clash, it was suggested by FICA that the IPL needed to declare what the local security was willing to help with. "As a compensating measure we recently requested from IPL a status report of what has or hasn't been confirmed and proposed a system of communication regarding any shortfalls of the required plans," May said. "Reg received this update and commitment regarding ongoing communication last (Sunday) evening. This is positive in terms of accurate information that we are able to put in front of the players."

Last week, Dickason dismissed the threat from 313 Brigade, the operational arm of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, after having deemed it credible in his initial assessment report. But, simultaneously, he had asked the IPL to specify to him the security implementations at the various venues.

The league officials, however, were unwilling to share any such information and Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, was vocal in his resistance over sharing security details with the player unions and even warned the foreign players of losing their lucrative IPL contracts in future. Left with no choice, Dickason prepared his original report after reviewing the security plans the IPL sent to various national cricket boards.

May had warned the tournament organisers that such stiff resistance could only worsen the issue and even lead to mass withdrawals. FICA had been entrusted by the Australian Cricketers' Association, England's Players Cricketers' Association and the South African Cricketers' Association to liaise with the IPL.

Modi, though, appears to have softened his stance since. "Already a lot of the players are on planes on their way to India and will arrive in the next few days," he wrote on his Twitter page. "Security is very important to us. We have not had to change our plans, I think it is more a case of the players now understanding them. I think they are more comfortable with the plans being implemented."

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