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Big challenge but we’re up for it: BCCI on IPL

With the BCCI having decided to move this year's IPL out of India, none of the eight franchisees showed resentment to the decision. The team owners met the IPL governing council after the BCCI Working Committee meeting and came out relaxed and happy.

cricket Updated: Mar 23, 2009 00:06 IST
G Krishnan

With the BCCI having decided to move this year's IPL out of India, none of the eight franchisees showed resentment to the decision. The team owners met the IPL governing council after the BCCI Working Committee meeting and came out relaxed and happy.

They were happy to know that the losses would be borne by the IPL. “Cost is not a concern for us,” said IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. “The issue is the integrity of the tournament. What is critical to Indian population is they get to watch the match at 4 pm and 8 pm as they expected.

“Logistically, it is a very, very big challenge. IPL is the single biggest logistic tournament. We are going to be in eight or nine cities. It is prohibitively expensive to take the tournament out of India. We have tried over 100 itineraries and, unfortunately, because of the elections, we feel sorry for the fans.”

Modi has assured all the team owners that the IPL would bear the losses. “Cost is not an issue. We will cover it all. We are not concerned if we make profits or losses. We need continuity in the league,” Modi said.

Modi added that each team would have one home ground and that unlike last year where the team managed their grounds, “the IPL would make all the arrangements centrally”. He ruled out more than one country hosting the IPL.

“With a tournament of this magnitude (59 matches), you cannot have it in more than one country. Logistics comes into play, it is a mammoth task and it is going to be in one country.” He also contemplated moving the semifinals and final back to India before ruling it out. “It would have been too exhausting for the players.

Players have to go back to England for the World T20 (beginning at Lord's on June 5).” The idea of having truncated matches also did not make sense, said Modi, while also confirming that no Pakistani player would be allowed to play in the IPL now that it had been moved out of India.

“IPL has announced the squad with no Pakistan player in it. There will be no change to the squad and the Pakistanis will not be allowed.”