The Board of Control for Cricket in India, on tenterhooks over the hosting of the Indian Premier League, decided on Sunday to move the second edition of the lucrative event out of India.
Following an emergency BCCI Working Committee meeting that lasted nearly an hour, its president Shashank Manohar said, “Because of the attitude of the governments — particularly Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh — that they are not in a position to provide security, we were forced to take a decision to move the event out of India. We are in discussion with other boards who have shown willingness to hold the IPL in their respective countries.”
Sources revealed that a few IPL and IMG (logistic partners) officials were scheduled to leave for England on Sunday night to inspect the venues. The mega-event will be held between the originally scheduled dates — April 10 to May 24 — and the match timings will be set to suit the Indian television audience.
It is learnt that the venue and the new schedule would be announced on Monday. The meeting was convened hurriedly after Maharashtra CM, Ashok Chavan, wrote to the IPL saying that he could not hold matches in the state till the last phase of general elections got over on May 13.
Explaining what forced the BCCI to take the decision, Manohar said, “The IPL had declared its tournament in India before the Lok Sabha election dates were announced. Thereafter, the Home Ministry asked the IPL to furnish fresh dates which would not coincide with the election dates. We submitted the fresh dates but they were rejected.
“Subsequently, we submitted a revised schedule, which was also rejected. Then we approached the respective state governments. The governments of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh gave us the clearance. The Maharashtra home minister and AP government too gave us the clearance.
“We then submitted another schedule to the Home Ministry. But for reasons best known to them, the Maharashtra CM passed an order on Saturday saying that IPL matches could not be held in the state till May 13…eighteen matches were scheduled in Maharashtra. The Andhra government too revoked the earlier permission,” said Manohar.
An upset Manohar said, “We are aware that the people of India are eagerly waiting for this event to happen again.” “My apologies. But we have taken into consideration the feelings of the Indian public and are going ahead with the event so that they can at least watch it on television. “I don't think the team owners will oppose the BCCI decision because they also want the event to happen,” he said.