IPL officials meet to save 2nd edition

Indian Premier League’s top officials had a series of meetings on Wednesday to save the high-profile Twenty20 event amid intense speculation that the second edition would have to be postponed because of security concerns.

A day after the Home Ministry made it clear that providing security for the league during the time of general elections would be difficult, the IPL officials were huddled in meetings in Chennai trying to figure a way out of the imbroglio.

The IPL is willing to re-draw the schedule and avoid matches on and around polling days in the cities where the franchises are based.

The IPL will submit its revised schedule on Thursday to the Home Ministry where a final decision is expected to be taken after a meeting of the officials of both the ministry and IPL.

The IPL has not come out with any statement on Wednesday and a source said the picture will become clear after the meeting with the Home Ministry officials on Thursday.

The chairman of the cash-rich league Lalit Modi had on Tuesday offered to re-schedule the matches.

“The IPL is fully cognizant of the importance of general elections in a country such as ours. We will go a step further to ensure that there will be no games 24 to 48 hours prior to the polling dates across the nine match venues in the country,” Modi had said in a statement.

Stating that the IPL was working on the schedule to ensure that there was no clash of matches with the election dates, Modi said the league would work with the state and local authorities to ensure the smooth conduct of the April 10-May 24 Twenty20 event.

However, security agencies are unwilling to stretch themselves for the event and today told the government to press for a postponement of the high-profile Twenty20 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.

New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, also already stated that cricket was not above life for him and he would give it a hard thought before deciding whether to travel to India or not.

Like Oram, many other players may now be reluctant to play in the sub-continent, which has witnessed a number of terror attacks in the recent past.

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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