New Delhi: Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde made it clear to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel and vice-president Rajeev Shukla on Thursday night that the government can’t provide adequate security for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League as its dates are set to clash with the general elections. But the BCCI is still hopeful that the business end of the cash-rich tournament will be held in India.
More than 1.20 lakh central paramilitary force personnel, in addition to state police forces, are expected to be deployed for the multi-phased Lok Sabha polls, which are likely to be held in April-May. Sources said the Home ministry has started preparing for the massive exercise of mobilising personnel for poll duties.
Paramilitary forces are also deployed in Naxal-affected states, Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states, and cannot be relieved.
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This year’s IPL has a window from April 9 to June 3 and the Board believes that while the first half of the tournament can be moved to a foreign country, most likely South Africa, there is a possibility that the business end can be held in India once the elections are over.
“We met the Home ministry yesterday and they made it clear that during the elections, there is no way that the government can provide fool-proof security for the successful hosting of IPL matches. But the IPL is a domestic Indian tournament and we are still very keen to hold as many matches as possible in India. We are still in talks, let us see what the outcome is,” Patel told MAIL TODAY.
IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal echoed Patel’s sentiments when asked if it was now confirmed that the tournament would be held in two parts.
“We can officially comment only after discussing the issue in the IPL governing council meeting. We are meeting soon and will discuss the matter. But yes, we are keen to hold as many matches as possible in India,” he said.
The IPL GC is set to take place on February 28 and will also see the members discuss the issue of the Mumbai Indians wanting to hold the opening ceremony and match in Mumbai.
But Biswal said it didn’t seem a very feasible idea.