The second season of the Indian Premier League will be held outside India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced in Mumbai on Sunday.
The BCCI’s decision to shift the tournament out of the country came at an emergency meeting comprising its office-bearers and the eight franchise owners in Mumbai.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said the timing of the matches would remain the same, with the first game scheduled at 1600 IST and next at 2000, no matter which venue they will be played at.
Basically, it would mean that the Twenty20 tournament, scheduled to be held between April 10 and May 24, would essentially become a television event.
South Africa and England are being talked about as possible venues but the BCCI is still in talks with other boards to finalise the venue.
“We will let you know about the new venue in two or three days,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar said.
The BCCI made it clear that the last straw that made them decide to shift the venue out of India was the last-minute reversal of stand by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments, which had earlier given clearance for the tournament.
“The BCCI is not in a position to either play a truncated IPL or cancel the second edition of the IPL. It is a matter of great regret that, in the prevailing atmosphere, where the government is expressing concern for providing security to the IPL matches, the BCCI is left with no other option but to conduct the Indian Premier League in another country,” the BCCI said in a statement.
Manohar also made it clear that the BCCI does not expect the franchises to oppose the decision.
He also apologised to cricket fans in India, saying they were left with no other option but to shift the tournament out of the country.
“It is pertinent to understand that within the present international calendar of events, there is no other window for IPL to be played during this year.
“As it stands, immediately after conclusion of the IPL on 24th May 2009, the teams have to assemble in England on 25th May 2009 for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, commencing from 2nd June 2009.
“Immediately after the conclusion of ICC Twenty20 World Cup, the Indian team will be leaving for West Indies to play 4 ODIs after which, the team will tour Zimbabwe for a tri-series involving India, Zimbabwe and South Africa,” the BCCI added.