IPL fate hinges on discussion between Centre and host states

A decision on whether the Indian Premier League can go ahead with a revised schedule would be taken after the central government discusses the matter with the host states and the Election Commission.

The IPL organisers have conveyed to the Home Ministry that they do not require any central forces for the security.

“Ministry of Home Affairs passed on the new schedule to the states yesterday itself and is waiting for their response as to whether they need para-military forces for matches or not,” Special Secretary (Internal Security) Raman Srivastava told reporters here.

The new schedule starts from April 10 and ends on May 24, he said. Raman revealed that after receiving the response from the state governments, the Home Ministry will go to the Election Commission informing them about the security arrangements.

The states where the IPL matches are scheduled to be held are Delhi, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

He said the BCCI had written a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram saying that they “do not require central para-military forces and can do with state police and they have given a new schedule yesterday avoiding election dates.”

Though Srivastava refused to comment about the fate of IPL tournament, sources in the Home Ministry said a company (100 personnel) could be spared for security during the matches. The Home Ministry had earlier said that providing security for the league during the time of general elections would be difficult due to shortage of paramilitary forces and the time it is likely to take for deploying them for election duty.

The security agencies are themselves unwilling to stretch for the league and have told the government to press for a postponement of the high-profile event.

The terror attack on the Sri Lankan team on Tuesday in Lahore has also compounded the problems for the IPL organisers, who now expect pullouts by many of the foreign players.

Federation of International Cricketers Association chief executive Tim May has already sought a wider role in assessing the security for players during the IPL.

In case the organisers are forced to postpone the IPL, it would be difficult to find a slot to hold the event this year in view of the crammed cricket calendar. It would then have to be held around the same period next year.

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