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IPL will be held outside India: BCCI
MUMBAI, MAR 22 (Agencies):
Published on 22 Mar. 2009 11:20 PM IST
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Holding the state governments responsible for the decision to shift IPL overseas, BCCI president Shashank Manohar announced that IPL 2 will be held outside India. The BCCI took the decision in an emergency meeting as the dates of the tournament were clashing with general elections and the government had expressed reservations on providing security for the tournament. “Due to the attitude of the government that it cannot provide security for the tournament, we are forced to take a decision to move the IPL out of India. I apologise to the people of India for moving the tournament out,” BCCI chief Shashank Manohar said. “But we’re are going ahead with the event so that they can at least watch the event on television,” Mahohar added. As per PTI reports, IPL Commissioner and Chairman Lalit Modi said the number of matches, format and timing of the event will remain unchanged and the organisers would not tinker with the “integrity of the tournament”. “Dates and timings of the matches will remain the same. The Indian audiences can watch the matches at 4 pm and 8 pm IST as they did in the inaugural season,” Modi said. “A final decision on the IPL dates and venues will be announced on Monday”, he said. The league will be held either in South Africa or England after security apprehensions owing to a clash of dates with the general elections forced the organisers to take the April 10-May 24 event out of India. “We will have the final schedule and which country will host the IPL by tomorrow evening. We have multiple schedules, multiple venues, multiple countries available to us. Now we just need to re-schedule the matches. Each team will have a home in another country, another state and another stadium,” Modi told reporters after meeting the eight franchise owners. Modi insisted that the “made-for-television event” would be held taking into account the prime-time slot in India. “I guarantee that the first match will start at 4.00 pm India time and the second match will be held 8.00 pm India time, at prime time for all the fans to be able to watch them,” he said. Modi refused to blame any one for the IPL’s shift of venue and insisted that the tournament will be back in the country next year. “I don’t blame anybody for anything. Let’s not politicize the issue,” he said. Indian fans disappointed Last summer, Sourav Dey, a software engineer working in Delhi took leave in April especially to be with his family and friends and be a part of the maddening crowd cheering the Kolkata Knight Riders on their home turf. This time however it’s a different story. Like several other Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) fans, Dey said that he couldn’t be more disappointed with the sudden announcement that the matches will now be held outside the country. ‘I am very disappointed. After last year’s adrenaline pumping experience of watching the Twenty20 matches and cheering the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eden gardens with all my friends, this year I was hoping for the same. ‘Today’s decision however has come as a shocker. In all my excitement, I had even applied for my leave at work! Now of course it will be a different story,’ Dey told IANS. Dev Sharma, another disappointed fan, said: ‘Watching the Delhi Daredevils play in Essex or Manchester will not carry the same emotion as watching them play at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium’. The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) announced Sunday that the Twenty20 IPL will be played outside the country because state governments have expressed their inability to provide security to the tournament as it clashes with the general elections. Even for those planning to watch the matches on TV, the decision is disappointing. Rasika Jain, a student in her final year in college, said that since her mother was very particular that she does well in her exams and did not let her watch much TV, she had to sneak out in order to watch the IPL matches at her friend’s place. ‘My university exams were on and while I sat studying my whole family used to watch all the matches on TV. Desperate to catch some of the fun, I used to sneak out to my friend’s place to catch some of the matches!’ Jain said. ‘However this time I don’t think the same excitement will prevail. With all the matches happening here, the reaction of the Indian crowd gives a different flavour all together. And that I am sure will be missing this time,’ she added. For a lot of fans who missed watching the live action last year and were planning to catch it this time, the decision has come as a big disappointment. Arun Sharma, a self proclaimed ‘cricket crazy fan’, said: ‘Last year I had to do with watching the Twenty20 IPL matches on TV because I was appearing for my class 12 board exams. Then I had decided that come what may this time I will definitely watch the live action - after all nothing compares to watching a match live amid a cheering crowd! ‘But I guess it was just not meant to be. I fail to understand how incompetent can our government be that they can’t ensure the security of just a handful of players! It’s a shame,’ he said. Shakshi Misra, another IPL fan, went on to ask: ‘Why keep calling it the Indian Premier League now that it will not be held in India? And the worse thing is that politicians are now making it a poll issue! Let the game be, please!’. But there are still others who don’t seem too affected by the decision. ‘I watched some of the matches on TV last year and this year too I will do the same. So what difference does it make where is it held? Everyone’s screaming now but later each one of them will watch the match and enjoy it just the same,’ said David Joseph, a banker. England emerges as a frontrunner to host Indian Premier League England is beginning to emerge as the frontrunner to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the announcement that the lucrative Twenty20 tournament will be moved because of security concerns. Lalit Modi, the chairman of the IPL, has already drawn up a revised match schedule if the decision is made to move the event to the UK. Similar schedules have also been drawn up should the decision to be made to move the event to Dubai and South Africa, who along with the UK are the other main contenders to host the competition. A final decision is expected to be made tomorrow morning. The Twenty20 competition, which debuted in India last year, is the biggest sport event to be shifted from South Asia following last year’s terrorist attack on Mumbai and this month’s assault on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore. “We have looked into the domestic and international obligations each country has, what venues are blocked on a particular date and we have built the schedules around them,” Modi said.

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