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Have a field day

If worries from all political camps were initially about whether election interest would flag during the Twenty20 tournament, the concern has morphed into that of security: post-26/11 — and especially after the Lahore attack on cricketers — could security be guaranteed for the tournament as well as for the elections?

india Updated: Mar 19, 2009 22:58 IST

For all you cricket lovers who don’t want to miss out on politics during this election season, here’s some good news. The Indian Premier League (IPL) and pre-poll politics have joined forces to come up with terrific entertainment that has the flavour of both the sports. The debate was always about whether the tournament and elections should be held simultaneously. If worries from all political camps were initially about whether election interest would flag during the Twenty20 tournament, the concern has morphed into that of security: post-26/11 — and especially after the Lahore attack on cricketers — could security be guaranteed for the tournament as well as for the elections?

The perfect solution would have been to postpone the elections. But with that not an option, the next best thing would have been to postpone the IPL till after the polls. Too much money, however, is riding on the IPL being conducted during this pre-planned period. Fair enough. But that still doesn’t explain why venues like Jaipur and Delhi are said to have been lopped off the list. Will cunning terrorists now mutter, “Arrey yaar, now that there’s no match in Delhi we’re sunk”?

The Rajasthan Chief Minister, for one, finds all this talk of security dubious. He thinks that IPL boss Lalit Modi is “a cheat” and is simply not playing cricket. But the latest twist to the old question is: if there is a single ‘incident’ during the IPL, won’t the 2010 Commonwealth Games be jeopardised? The only way out, it now seems, is to stop hosting any sporting event. Let’s all stay at home. But hang on. Then who’ll come out and vote?