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IPL moves out of country
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

  • England and South Africa emerge favoured destinations
  • BCCI blames Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh governments
  • 59 matches
  • First match to start at 4pm IST
  • Second match at 8pm IST
  • No change in schedule

Mumbai, March 22
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the apex governing body for the sport in the country, today decided that the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament scheduled for April will be played outside the country. The decision was taken at a hurriedly convened meeting of the Working Committee of the BCCI here this morning. Earlier various state governments including that of Maharashtra refused to provide security for the matches scheduled through April and May and coinciding with the Lok Sabha elections.

The last straw that caused the board to look at venues outside the country was an announcement by senior Maharashtra police official that it would be difficult for the state to organize security. In all 14 matches were scheduled in the state that coincided with the elections.

BCCI officials say the final decision on the venue for the matches to be played would be taken on Monday. “You can speculate whatever you want,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar retorted when journalists asked him if England or South Africa were the alternative venues being considered by the board. Manohar however said the board was holding consultations with the cricket authorities of various countries and a detailed itinerary of the matches would be announced shortly.

“We have taken this decision because of the attitude of the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments,” Manohar said. He hit out at both the state governments, which he said, had earlier promised security for the matches and then backed out.

After the working committee meeting of the BCCI, officials also met with owners of different franchises over the question of moving the matches to another country. Manohar said there was no opposition from the franchise owners over shifting the venues to another country.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi added that the matches would be timed to suit the Indian television audiences. The original schedule of two matches per day at 4pm and 8pm Indian time would be adhered to, Modi said. “We won’t tamper with the integrity of the tournament,” Modi said. He added that the second edition of IPL would be a 59 match tournament like the inaugural edition.


We will have the final schedule and which country will host the IPL by tomorrow evening. We have multiple schedules, multiple venues, multiple countries available to us. Now we just need to re-schedule the matches. Each team will have a home in another country, another state and another stadium

— Lalit Modi, IPL Commissioner

The tournament was intended to be held in India, therefore the administrators of the game should have first talked to the players before venturing to shift the tournament. It is BCCI's apathy that players are not allowed to give their opinion on this matter.

— Kapil Dev, former captain

We have to respect the elections in the country. That is a bigger issue than our issue. By shifting the IPL abroad, we have tried to find a solution to the problem.

— Shah Rukh Khan, Kolkata Knight Riders owner and Bollywood star

 

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