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Security Clouds
IPL schedule may go for a toss
M S Unnikrishnan
Tribune News Service

In view of the Parliamentary elections, the itinerary of the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 Championship may be shuffled so as not to clash with the election schedule. The IPL management was now considering reworking the itinerary, to advance or postpone some of the matches.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had voiced his apprehension about providing fool-proof security at the IPL match venues on account of the Parliament elections, which will clash with the 40-day IPL, starting on April 10.

Following the Home Minister's statement, the IPL Organising Committee was caught in a piquant situation, as the dates of the championship could not be changed, but only the matches could be reworked.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials reportedly met the Home Ministry officials today to work out an acceptable solution so that the IPL matches could be held, without affecting the deployment of security forces for election purposes.

Home Minister P Chidambaram was quoted as having said by a private news channel that "I have suggested nothing on the IPL so far". But the security agencies were not in favour of holding the IPL matches during the Parliament elections - even the IPL's proposed move not to hold matches on polling dates--as it would then be spreading the security forces too thin, and too much taxing for them. The security agencies' objection came following IPL chairman Lalit Modi's stand that the IPL matches could be held with some changes in the match schedule.

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Tourney on schedule: Modi

New Delhi, March 4
Scotching speculations about the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL), BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi today asserted that the much-awaited Twenty20 tournament will be held as per schedule. The multi-million dollar event had come under a cloud following yesterday’s attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had stated that the IPL, scheduled to be held from April 10 to May 24, should be staged after the parliamentary elections, which are from April 16 to May 13, in view of the increased security threat. However, Modi, who is also the commissioner of the IPL, and IPL chief executive Sundar Raman trashed any such suggestions. Modi stated that the matches would be rescheduled in such a manner that they would not be held within 24-48 hours of election days in the nine venues across the country.

“We will be working closely with the Indian government and we are gearing up to put in place foolproof arrangements,” Modi told Cricinfo. But with the elections demanding a heavy security deployment, the government, apparently, is loathe to take any risks despite Modi’s assertion, “It is a far from ideal situation for us,” a home ministry official said. — UNI

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