New Zealand cricketers now look more likely to play their pro-rata segments of the Indian Premier League.

Further rigorous security checks have been implemented ahead of the tournament's March 12 start, including an audit earlier this week, ticking off what sort of police force numbers are being provided as well as the level of resources dedicated to protecting players in each of the 12 host cities.

Certainly the IPL's vast salaries now have the whiff of danger money about them, thanks to threats from organisations such as the Al Qaeda-allied 313 Brigade and Shiv Sena. This is also the first IPL to be played since the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008.

New Zealand Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills says efforts have been reinforced on the ground to get the right methods in place to deliver the security management plan.

"If this momentum for action continues over the next week leading into the event, you would think it would be at the security level you'd expect. The feedback we've given to the players in the last three days or so is that things seem to be improving."

But the stress of scrambling together a plan at late notice has taken its toll.

"It's frustrating that it's happened so late," says Mills.

"Usually we have a process in place with New Zealand Cricket to manage the security situation on tours six months out. We conduct on the ground checks with independent security experts. One advantage of India, though, is that things can be done quickly when need be."

Ultimately Shane Bond, Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori now need to make the decision themselves.

Normally, ahead of an overseas tour, NZC would make the overall decision but on this occasion the players are independent contractors.

"Given the work over the last couple of weeks they'll be a lot more comfortable," says Mills. "But I couldn't say whether they will go or not. That's their decision. We just provide them with information."

While four of the New Zealand players will get an initial opportunity to watch from a distance, Bond will be the first to decide whether to head up following the conclusion of the Chappell-Hadlee one-dayers next Saturday.

IPL chairman Lalit Modi would not comment on the current security arrangement, referring the issue instead to his vice-chairman and former secretary of the Indian Cricket Board, Niranjan Shah.

"We are concerned, but I think there will be no problem with foolproof security," Shah says.

"The South African series finished without any problems and the Hockey World Cup [in Delhi] is going on successfully. We've got the central police force involved for the IPL and that's been monitored by our security advisers from South Africa."

The firm entrusted with the role is Nicholls, Steyn & Associates (NSA), the group who, among other things, helped 150 people evacuate the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai during the November 2008 seige.

Interestingly one of the partners, Rory Steyn, used to be chief of security for Nelson Mandela and was the All Blacks' security liaison at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Mills backs the involvement of NSA but says security veteran Reg Dickason has been more critical to the process, not to mention the various Players Associations of Australia, England and South Africa.

"Reg has a superb track record for making astute judgements on cricket travel destinations," Mills says. "We trust him. Every time we have used him over the last eight years, his recommendations have been spot on.

"In the face of pressure from the likes of the ICC he was telling us don't go to Pakistan in 2008 for the Champions Trophy. Then the event got cancelled and a hotel that teams were due to stay in got blown up when they would've been there."

Mills also says the Hockey World Cup is not a valid security comparison because, to his knowledge, they haven't employed an independent company to advise them.

"You can't rely on local authorities. You need people who don't have a vested interest in the event taking place. That doesn't include governments, who either want people to come to their country or, for diplomatic reasons, can't ask hard questions.

All of this is not to suggest New Zealand won't be able to return to India for their scheduled tour in November and December.

"We're quite open about it," Mills says.

"Circumstances might have changed. The important thing is the process. A lot is dependent on timing. That can mitigate the threat.

"Reg Dickason took England back to India shortly after the Mumbai incident because there was presidential-level security, including commando units."