IPL7 may be shifted out of India

3:22 PM, Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Sushilkumar-ShindeNew Delhi: The Centre on Friday expressed its inability to provide security to the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as it coincided with the general elections.

Union Home Ministry officials have conveyed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it could provide adequate security personnel only after the general elections, expected to be over by mid-May. “Due to the general elections, it will be difficult to provide adequate security to IPL matches,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.

The IPL governing council, in a meeting in Bangalore last week, had identified the April 9-June 3 window for the league.

Tens of thousands of paramilitary and police personnel will be deployed ahead of the phased elections. The Home Ministry has reportedly informed the Election Commission that they need to prepare in advance for conducting elections in Maoist-affected states. The BCCI has started talking to cricket boards of other countries about their availability to host the event.

“The (central) government had expressed its inability to provide adequate security for IPL 7 in view of the upcoming general elections. So we have started talking to different countries to hold the tournament,” said Ranjib Biswal, IPL chairman. Asked if South Africa was a likely venue, Biswal said: “South Africa is a favoured venue to host the matches, but we will have to decide.”

Biswal said IPL had to get all government clearances before holding the tournament in another country. “There is not going to be any IPL without government clearance. We will get all the clearances before the tournament,” he said. Biswal added that the BCCI working committee will take a call on the issue on February 28, when they meet in Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel also said the working committee would decide on the venue. “Yes, IPL will be discussed at the meeting (in Bhubaneswar). Also the new changes in ICC (structure),” said Patel.

Asked whether later stages of the IPL could be staged in the country, Patel said: “100 per cent, they can be held.”

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