ICL: Indian Cricket League

Indian government wants IPL postponed


Concerns have emerged over the security measures that will be in place for the IPL next month after India’s home minister P Chidambaram said that he would ask the organisers to postpone the tournament so that it does not clash with the country’s general elections. IPL officials, however, have ruled out a postponement and instead talked of rescheduling games within the current window.

Chidambaram told NDTV the government would provide security for the IPL but the country’s paramilitary forces would be stretched to cover both the elections and the Twenty20 tournament. The IPL is scheduled to be held in nine Indian venues from April 10-May 24 amidst elections across the country.

Chidambaram added that Home Ministry officials would soon meet with IPL organisers to look at postponing the league.

“It will be difficult to provide paramilitary forces for 40 matches and the elections too,” Chidambaram told the channel. “I don’t want my forces to be strained. [Hosting the IPL after the elections] would be a better proposition.”

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, said there was no question of the tournament being put off. “There is no chance of postponing the IPL,” he said. “We have taken into account government sensibilities but I am sure even the Home Minister wouldn’t want the whole country to come to a standstill during the elections. We may revise the schedule of matches within the April-May window to ensure there is no clash with the election days.”

Modi said there will be no IPL matches 24-48 hours before the polling date. He said that security for the IPL will be centrally monitored from this year by Nicholls Steyn, the ICC’s consultants who have managed security for a series of ICC events. Sundar Raman, the IPL chief executive, said the elections would be an advantage as they would ensure heightened security awareness across various venues.

The eight IPL franchises have almost all the top international cricketers and the entire Indian team in their ranks. The league’s first season witnessed a series of blasts in Jaipur last, though the tournament continued. However, in November, the attacks in Mumbai forced the BCCI-backed Champions Twenty20 League to be postponed. England abandoned their one-day series after the attacks but returned to play a two-Test series in Chennai and Mohali.

It may be rather difficult to shift the dates of the tournament, with the organisers already pitted against a packed international calendar. Advancing the tournament is not an option, with India touring New Zealand and Australia touring South Africa till early next month. May is a relatively quiet month, with West Indies touring England and Australia playing five ODIs against Pakistan in UAE. However, the following month is ruled out, with all nations busy with the World Twenty20 in England.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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