It is official. The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League 7 will not be held in India.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday expressed the government's inability to provide security to the marquee tournament as it is coinciding with the Lok Sabha elections.
"Due to the general elections, it will be difficult to provide adequate security to the IPL matches," Shinde said.
They are likely to be held between April 9 and June 3.
He had conveyed the message to a delegation of the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) which met the minister on Thursday.
Following the government's stand, the BCCI has intensified its efforts to take the tournament out of India.
"We are now looking at options which would be best suited for staging the IPL tournament. On February 28 we will have a definite answer as it will be placed before the Working Committee of the BCCI which is meeting in Bhubaneswar on the same day," said Ranjib Biswal, chairman IPL.
Although other venues like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are being considered, sources said that the BCCI has already zeroed in on South Africa to stage this year's IPL.
However, the tournament will be brought back to India at a later stage once the elections are over.