The seventh edition of the high-profile Indian Premier League could be shifted to South Africa due to the security concerns posed by the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the dates of which are clashing with the event.
The IPL authorities will be meeting home ministry officials next week and a final decision on the venue and the exact schedule is expected to be taken in the coming 10 days. The general elections are scheduled to be held in April-May.
"We are considering many options. We are meeting the home ministry officials and the home minister (Sushilkumar Shinde) to know the possible dates on which we can accommodate (the IPL) in India as far as possible, we are keen on holding the matches in India. If not, South Africa is the preferred destination. But we have second and third options too," IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal said.
He, however, did not name the second and third options. They are speculated to be Bangladesh and the UAE.
"What we are asking is, we have a window from April 9 to June 3. We will be speaking to the government officials in the home ministry. We want to hold maximum number of matches in India and if we get the green signal, probably we can hold all the matches in India," he said.
The IPL had been shifted to South Africa in 2009 as well because of similar security concerns posed by general elections. Lalit Modi was the IPL commissioner at that time.
"We are in constant touch with the franchises, we have taken them into confidence and in the past two days, we held a series of meetings with them. We have made our stand clear. They appreciated our concerns and they given us cooperation on this matter," Biswal said.
"We are making efforts to meet the home ministry officials next week. After that, we will have the governing council meeting, where we will decide on the venue and dates. We are looking at another 10 days' time to sort out the issue," he added.
The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may be held in South Africa in case of a shortage of resources in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Twenty-20 tournament will be held from April 9 to June 3.
Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sanjay Patel, said South Africa was the "preferred venue". He, however, said the board's main interest lied in organising the series in India.
Reports had earlier said Sri Lanka was also an option for the match venues.