IPL matches could be moved out of India as Home Minister says ‘will be tough to provide security’
MUMBAI : The 2014 edition of the Indian Premier League is likely to partly move out of India due to general elections and the matches will be played in South Africa. The IPL had been shifted to South Africa in 2009 as well because of security concerns posed by general elections. Lalit Modi was the IPL commissioner at that time.
Board of Control for Cricket in India had indicated in Bangalore last week that South Africa was the preferred venue. The decision was taken after the BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla and IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal met the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday. A leading national daily quoted Mr. Shinde saying it will be “tough to provide adequate security for Indian Premier League (IPL) matches” during general elections.
The ministry is reported to have then informed the BCCI that the Twenty20 tournament would be staged in the country only after May 11. This would mean that the first month of the cash-rich tournament will be played in the Rainbow Nation.
“We are in constant touch with franchises; we have taken them into confidence in the last two days and we held a series of meetings with them. We have made our stand clear. They appreciated our concerns and they have given us cooperation on this matter,” Biswal said last week.
Sri Lanka was also reported to be in line to host IPL matches in the eight-week championship in April-May. That South Africa could be a venue was hinted by Delhi Daredevils’ chief coach Gary Kirsten. The former South African opener, who was India’s World Cup winning coach in 2011, said his team was buying pacers “because the tournament may be played in South Africa.”
The shifting of IPL matches to South Africa is also indication of improved relationship between BCCI and Cricket South Africa officials. Is this BCCI president N Srinivasan’s way of saying “thank you” to the South Africans for voting him in as ICC chairman? Interestingly, South Africa were the first to protest against the ICC revamp plans, calling the BCCI-pioneered draft proposals “fundamentally flawed.”