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IPL to be played outside India: BCCI

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The second edition of the Indian Premier League, scheduled from April 10 to May 24, will be played outside India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced today, after the organisers and the Union Home Ministry failed to reach an agreement on the dates of the T-20 matches which clashed with the elections to the Lok Sabha.

The government had expressed its inability to ensure fool-proof security for the players and the venues because of the elections scheduled in the country during the same period and the two sides could not agree even on the revised schedules submitted to the Home Ministry by the BCCI.

The BCCI pointed out that there was no other window for the IPL to be played during this year within the present international calendar of events.

"Under the given circumstances, there is no other period for the conduct of IPL matches. There are many stakeholders in the Indian Premier League apart from the BCCI viz. the players, the franchise owners, media partners, team sponsors, venues sponsors, apart from the cricket loving public at large," BCCI Honorary Secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.

"The experience of the first IPL season has shown that apart from providing employment to a large number of people at the various venues, IPL has also contributed close to Rs. 100 crores to the exchequer," he said.

"The BCCI, therefore, is not in a position to either play a truncated IPL or to cancel the 2nd edition of the IPL. It is a matter of great regret that, in the prevailing atmosphere, where the Government is expressing concern for providing security to the IPL matches, the BCCI is left with no other option but to conduct the Indian Premier League in another country," Mr Srinivasan said.

BCCI sources said the new hosts would be announced in a day or two, but there has been media speculation for the last two days that the tournament featuring eight teams with top players from all the major cricket-playing countries could be held either in South Africa or England.

"The BCCI is very grateful to the Indian public for having expressed their full hearted support to the Indian Premier League. The stakeholders and cricket loving public are very much looking forward to the 2nd edition of the IPL, which is due to be played between 10th April and 24th May 2009," Mr Srinivasan said.

"While this is so, the BCCI is conscious of the general elections, which will be held between 16th April and 13th May 2009. The BCCI has had several discussions with the Ministry of Home Affairs on the scheduling of IPL matches. The Officials of the BCCI have also been in touch with all the State Governments where the IPL matches were scheduled to be played, and have submitted schedules in a manner that was acceptable to the respective State Governments.

"It is understood that Ministry of Home Affairs is in touch with the State Governments to ascertain their concerns on the revised schedule submitted by the BCCI.

"It is pertinent to understand that within the present International calendar of events, there is no other window for IPL to be played during this year. As it stands, immediately after conclusion of the IPL on 24th May 2009, the teams have to assemble in England on 25th May 2009 for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup commencing from 2nd June 2009. Immediately after the conclusion of ICC Twenty20 World Cup, the Indian team will be leaving for West Indies to play 4 ODIs after which, the team will tour Zimbabwe for a tri-series involving India, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

"In September 2009, the Indian team would participate in ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, following which would be the Champions League. Between October 2009 and March 2010, there are three home series against Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Similarly, all other nations are busy playing international cricket and their players would not be available for the IPL Matches," Mr Srinivasan explained.

NNN

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