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IPL will go ahead, declares Modi

Rajasthan IPL team members
The IPL was a huge success in India

The Indian Premier League will go ahead as planned - despite the attack on Sri Lanka's team in Pakistan, insists IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

Modi admitted that schedule changes will be needed because of clashes with national election polling dates.

India's home minister Palaniappan Chidambara wanted the tournament be held after the general elections.

And Modi said: "I want to assure all our fans, sponsors and all stakeholders that the tournament is on."

There were fears the tournament - which is scheduled to take place from 10 April to 24 May - was in doubt after Chidambaram, while indicating he could provide paramilitary security cover for the IPL, had said he did not want to stretch resources between the IPL and general elections.

Modi chaired an IPL governing council meeting with Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] officials on Friday, and then revealed it would go on, with moves to tweak the schedules to take into consideration dates on which cities go to the polls now in progress.

He said: "We are extremely grateful and thankful to the Home Minister Mr Chidambaram for his clarification that security would be provided for IPL matches.

"As requested, we are in touch with all states and we will shortly release a new schedule."

Earlier, Chidambaram had requested that the IPL take a second look at the schedule, saying: "Cricket is always safe in India and nobody need worry about playing in India. We will ensure safety when the matches are played.

"However, we have asked for a revised schedule because the IPL and election schedules are overlapping. I don't blame the IPL management at all because they had finalised their dates well before the election dates were announced.

"I am doing the best I can to help the tournament go ahead as planned," he said.

606: DEBATE
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The IPL had already promised the home ministry not to have matches 24 to 48 hours prior to polls in a city and Modi said the new schedule would be revealed soon, indicating matches could be held at different venues from the ones announced in the original schedule.

Modi said: "We are working on the schedule and it's a cumbersome task because we have to take into account days on which cities go to the poll. The only thing we have decided is that there will be no matches in any city on the day of counting [16 May]. That's a blackout day.

"Except for that, the schedule is being adjusted and the venues, dates and cities would be announced soon. We currently have over 14 cities that are available and which can host matches.

"We need to shortlist eight out of them and we are in the process of doing that. I don't see a problem with that," he said.

Modi also declared security would not be an issue, saying: "We are fully prepared on the security front and we will have a detailed briefing with our security experts next week."

He denied reports that the IPL could be moved out of the country due to security constraints, saying: "There is no question of moving the IPL to another country. These are baseless theories. The IPL is and will remain a domestic tournament."

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see also
Collingwood admits to IPL doubts
05 Mar 09 |  Cricket
India calls for IPL cricket delay
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
England players top IPL auction
06 Feb 09 |  Cricket
Five to watch at the IPL auction
04 Feb 09 |  Cricket


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