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Event on track, says Modi

After Thursday’s wild speculations on the fate of Indian Premier League, IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, smothered doubts with the words, “The IPL is on”. G Krishnan reports.

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2009 00:56 IST
G Krishnan

The heat was stifling, but in the end, the two-hour wait at the Cricket Centre was worth the effort.

After Thursday’s wild speculations on the fate of Indian Premier League — whether it would be held on schedule, given the T20 extravaganza overlapped with the general elections — IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, smothered doubts with the words, “The IPL is on”. “There is no question of the IPL moving out of India.

The number of days too remain the same,” he added. However, he had a few words of caution for the reporters. “Please don’t speculate. Wait for the official releases.”

Friday’s gathering was supposed to be a routine meeting of BCCI office-bearers, but given the uncertainty surrounding the IPL, it assumed sudden importance. So much so that hordes of mediapersons descended on the venue at least an hour before the scheduled 11.30 am start.

Modi was not supposed to meet reporters, and though he relented following repeated requests, the BCCI vice-president issued his statement without fielding questions.

“We are extremely grateful and thankful to the Honourable Union Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, for his clarification that security will be provided for IPL matches. We are in touch with all the states and will release the revised schedule.”

Addressing concerns of the government, Modi said, “There will be no match on the day of counting (May 16) in any city.”

In response to doubts that there would be no match at any of the venues on polling days, he clarified, “If there is polling in a city/state, only that city will be blacked out. It doesn’t mean that there will be no match in other cities. Except on the day of counting, matches will be run everyday.

Modi also said there are noconcerns about alternate venues. “Currently 14 are available and we need to shortlist eight. We are prepared for security and have a meeting next week.”