This season's Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to be shifted out of India after the government on Friday made it clear that it would not be able to provide adequate security to the cash-rich T20 tournament as its dates clash with general elections.
"Due to general elections, it will be difficult to provide adequate security to IPL matches," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.
Sources said the home ministry had conveyed to the BCCI that it would be able to provide adequate security personnel only after the general elections which were expected to be over by mid-May.
IPL matches are likely be held between April 9 and June 3.
The BCCI's Working Committee will meet on February 28 in Bhubaneswar where a final decision on the IPL venue is expected to be taken.
The board secretary Sanjay Patel had earlier indicated that the first part of the IPL may be held in South Africa while the later stage matches are played in Indian venues after the general elections are over, possibly by mid May.
Patel had said that the Board also had a few other options avalaible but did not disclose them.
More than 1.20 lakh central paramilitary force personnel, in addition to state police forces, are expected to be deployed for the multi-phased Lok Sabha polls which are likely to be held in April-May.
The sources said that the home ministry had started preparing for the massive exercise of mobilising 1.2 lakh personnel from different paramilitary forces to be deployed for poll duties.
Paramilitary forces are also deployed in Naxal-affected states, Jammu and Kashmir and the north eastern states.