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Postpone IPL till after elections: HM
New Delhi, Mar 3 (Agencies):
Published on 3 Mar. 2009 10:38 PM IST
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India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram told CNN-IBN that the organisers of the Indian Premier League should move their matches after the national elections. Chidambaram’s told the channel’s Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai that he will ask the IPL body to postpone the mega event due to security concerns as the tournament will be clashing with the elections. Earlier, few games in the IPL were rescheduled due to the election dates. The IPL is scheduled to start on April 10 and the first round of polling is on the April 16. “I have asked the Home secretary to get in touch with the IPL organisers. Since, the election dates are unalterable, I have asked to find out of the dates of the IPL can be rescheduled. I would be happy if the tournament starts when the bulk of the polls is over,” said Chidambaram. There is a fear that security agencies will be busy with arrangements for the elections and the level of security needed for those high profile matches may not be available. But, with a tight international schedule the IPL only has a small window to operate in. However, the Home Minister said teams visiting India would be safe. “Let me assure you that cricket in India is safe,” said Chidambaram. The statement came on the day the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore where six players and one assistant coach were injured. India will be co-hosting the 2011 World Cup with Pakistan, which has come under scrutiny due to the security situation in the country. Chidambaram said the World Cup was still far away and the situation may improve with time. “2011 is two years away and I don’t think we need to be looking that forward. It is quite possible that things will change till 2011 and it will be premature to take any final view on it now,” he stated. Chidambaram, however, said Pakistan may be out of sporting map after Tuesday’s terror attack. “In the immediate future, I don’t think any country will send their sporting team to Pakistan. But we should come to definitive conclusions only three months or six months down the line. Things can improve and I hope they will improve. I wish Pakistan will take steps to improve the situation. But if you ask me, it is unlikely that anyone will send a sporting team to Pakistan next week or the next month,” said Chidambaram.

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