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BCCI reschedules IPL
New Delhi, Mar 5 (Agencies):
Published on 5 Mar. 2009 11:49 PM IST
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally blinked and sent a new schedule for the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 championship to the Union Home Ministry. Sources say that the BCCI sent the new schedule on Thursday in wake of security concerns after Tuesday’s attack on Sri Lankan players in Lahore and the upcoming General Elections, which is being held over five phases from April 16 to May 13. The new schedule starts from April 10 and ends on May 24. The new schedule was finalised after both the Centre and state governments said that they would not be able to provide adequate security cover to the players and match venues during Lok Sabha elections. The Ministry of Home Affairs has been uncomfortable with the IPL dates clashing with Lok Sabha election schedule. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on Tuesday made it clear that central security forces would be busy with the elections and hence could not be spared for the IPL. Sources say the Home Ministry has already asked the states if they can provide security during IPL matches. The government has made it clear that private security won’t be adequate for the cricket tournament as earlier claimed by some BCCI officials. The ministry had, earlier, asked the Director General of Police of all host states if they would be able to provide additional security because private security is not expected to be a fool-proof arrangement as intelligence reports already says that IPL matches could be an easy target. At the same time, MHA officials also maintain that they can possibly send some extra forces if IPL matches are to go ahead. The final decision on the revised IPL schedule would be taken after the Centre discusses the matter with the host states and the Election Commission. Sources says West Bengal Police and Delhi Police want IPL match dates changed as then only they would be able to provide security. West Bengal Police want all matches in Kolkata to be over before April 30. Elections in West Bengal are on April 30, May 7 and 13 while the IPL matches in Kolkata are on May 2, 6, 8 and 13. Delhi goes to the polls on May 7 and IPL matches in the city are scheduled for May 5, 11, 14 and 16. Maharashtra votes on April 16, 23 and 30 while the IPL matches will be played on April 12, 17, 19, 24, 28 and May 2. Voting in Karnataka is on April 23 and 30 while IPL matches are on April 14, 19, 23 and May 3. Similar views have been echoed by the Punjab government and Hyderabad Police Commissioner. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal said that the Punjab is ready to provide security to IPL if they can make a few changes in their schedule so that the dates don’t clash with the elections. Meanwhile, in another twist some politicians have expressed apprehensions that IPL matches would be hindrance during the election campaign and people may not come out to vote.

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