Only Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have responded: MHA

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said on Tueday that the security issue will not be left to individual franchisees, as was the case last year.

IPL is consulting reputed South African security agency, Nicolas, Steyn & Associates, to work out the arrangements.

Incidentally, the reminder was sent minutes after Modi stated in Mumbai that the schedule for the matches was still being fine-tuned.

The matches will be held from April 10 to May 24. Modi announced that Ahmedabad and Visakhapatnam were two new match venues being added this year. “Dharamsala and Nagpur are also in the fray. The schedule is still being fine-tuned as I speak,” he said at a function to unveil the logo for IPL’s second season.

Elaborating on the security plan, Modi said, “From the minute a (foreign) player lands here to the minute he leaves India; from the minute an Indian player enters the hotel to the minute he leaves, we will be managing the security”.

Sources in the home ministry said that except for Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, no state had so far responded to the ministry’s communication seeking their opinion on IPL’s revised schedule. A couple of them are learned to have got in touch with the IPL in this regard, but the ministry has yet to get their response, they added.

Though couple of other states including West Bengal and Rajasthan have been in consultation with the ministry at different levels, none had given its consent in “writing” till Tuesday evening. The states which were contacted by the ministry include Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Punjab.

Ministry officials said that IPL’s announcement on making its own arrangements for players’ security was, in fact, something that many states had insisted on.

They said IPL organizers have promised to hire well-trained private guards for such duties besides installing high-tech gadgets at venues. The state police, with the help of paramilitary forces, will provide security cover at stadiums as well as sanitize the routes to be taken by team members.

The home ministry had earlier indicated that additional central forces could be managed if the requirement was not more than 2,000 personnel, as each of the four paramilitary forces contacted were in a position to spare 500 men.

Union minister of state for home affairs Sriprakash Jaiswal said: “Sparing paramilitary forces in April may not be a problem but it could get difficult in May.” This indicates that more matches will be held in April.

Sounding optimistic about the IPL matches, Jaiswal said although security threats exist, things could be worked out if the IPL functionaries gave a suitable schedule.

Asked about the reported apprehensions of foreign players and the host state governments, Modi said, “No foreign player has so far contacted IPL to say that he is apprehensive. They have never been uncomfortable about coming here.

India is not Pakistan, we are a safe country,” he said. Modi also rejected the Federation of International Cricketers Association’s demands for a say in the security arrangements for IPL. “The IPL is conducted by BCCI and the BCCI talks directly to the boards,” he said.

The opening and closing ceremonies as well as the inaugural and summit ties of the April 10-May 24 event would be held at the DY Patil Stadium in Nerul, Navi Mumbai. Modi revealed that Chennai will not get to host all seven of its planned games.

“There are a few blackout dates involved because of the elections. So they will not be hosting all seven of their matches,” he said. Modi said tenders have been floated for multiplexes vying to show live telecast of the IPL matches but with a clause.

“If Mumbai is hosting a match, then the multiplexes there cannot show that match on that day,” he said. Modi also made it clear that the IPL governing council had decided not to allow the league to be used for political campaigns for the polls.

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