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Another jolt for IPL; Maha Police calls for postponement
Published on 21 Mar. 2009 12:48 AM IST
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With barely 20 days to go, the troubled Indian Premier League was on Friday dealt a severe jolt with Maharashtra Police calling for its postponement, saying providing security for both IPL matches and the elections will put extra strain on the forces. Maharashtra’s DG (Elections) Suprabhat Chakravarty said that his forces would be busy with election duty and suggested that the league be put off till after the elections. “There is no point in putting extra strain on policemen. They are already busy due to elections. Even if there is no election at the venue where the IPL is being held, those people would be very busy with bandobast duty. It is a very strenuous duty,” he said. “So, where is the need to put extra strain. I mean, it can always be held after April 30 when the Maharashtra polling is over. Election period will be still on but will be a little better off. Give it a couple of days’ gap and then hold it. That is my personal view,” he added. The Maharashtra DG’s statement came as a surprise for IPL organisers, who had allotted as many as 18 matches to the state, including 14 in Mumbai alone. It was not immediately clear whether Chakraborty made his observation in personal capacity or as the state’s security representative. While IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi declined to comment on the latest development, tournament director Neeraj Malhotra said the Twenty20 league may shift a few matches out of Maharashtra. “We are working around it. We have been told that we can’t hold all the 18 matches there. We are trying to work it out. The revised schedule should be out by this weekend. “It is difficult but we have to work around it. The problem is we can’t postpone it till after the elections because the Twenty20 World Cup is scheduled in June. So, there are no dates,” he explained. Maharashtra’s security concerns is the latest in a series of problems for the multi-million dollar league, which has revised its schedule as many as three times to get the Home Ministry’s clearance. Home Minister P Chidambaram had on Thursday made it clear elections were “unquestionably” the first priority and had wanted the IPL organisers to take a final call on whether to hold the event at all while the nation votes. Rocked by one controversy after another, IPL on Thursday faced allegations of deliberately dropping Jaipur from its list of venues. IPL schedule to be finalised next week New Delhi, Mar 20 (Agencies): The IPL schedule has been put on hold and will be finalised not before next week as Home Minister P Chidambaram will be off to Chennai this weekend for some official work. “The Home Minister is leaving (for Chennai) today and will only be back on Monday. It (likely decision) may only happen now on Monday,” a Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson told website Cricinfo. The central government has got the nod from only two of the states thus far, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and is still awaiting the response from the other states. “Only Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have got back,” the MHA spokesperson said without revealing if the two states had guaranteed the security for the IPL games.

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