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IPL semis moved from Bangalore to Mumbai after blasts

18 April 10 11:23 GMT

The Indian Premier League semi-finals have been moved from Bangalore to Mumbai amid security fears.

Two devices exploded outside Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium before Saturday's IPL game between Bangalore Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians.

The match went ahead, with Kevin Pietersen playing for Bangalore, but a third device was defused on Sunday.

"The environment in Bangalore stops us from continuing with our original plans," said IPL boss Lalit Modi.

"The incidents were assessed by local police and the IPL's security agency as being of a minor nature but they have forced our hand.

"This decision is naturally disappointing for the people of Bangalore but has been taken with the tournament's best interests, and the interests of its many varied stakeholders, in mind.

"The IPL wishes those affected by yesterday's incidents a speedy recovery from injuries suffered as a result of the cowardly actions.

"Despite this setback, we're confident the semi-finals and finals of IPL will be successfully contested and provide a fitting finale to a remarkable tournament."

All three devices were hidden in the stadium's perimeter wall and the two explosions are believed to have injured 15 people.

"There is very tight security around IPL matches but a number of questions now need to be answered," said BBC correspondent Rahul Tandon.

"How is it that with that security, explosives were placed so close to a stadium before a high-profile match? Secondly, how come they were placed again this morning and who is behind this?

"This is really damaging and dangerous for sport in India - this is the biggest ever year for sport in India."

Initial investigations suggested the explosives used in the devices were locally made and of low intensity, according to senior local police official MR Poojar.

The International Cricket Council said it was too early to comment on the attack or its ramifications on the 2011 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Up to 80 foreign players from across the world are contracted to the eight IPL teams.

The second edition of the tournament was moved to South Africa in 2009 amid fears the security forces would be too stretched by a clash of dates between the federal elections and the lucrative Twenty20 event.

In late 2008, the first edition of the Twenty20 Champions League - featuring the leading provincial teams from five countries - was cancelled in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai.

Cricket Australia said it was closely monitoring the current security situation, while New Zealand Cricket said it still plans to tour India in November.

The Indian capital of New Delhi is preparing to host more than 100,000 foreign visitors for the 3-14 October Commonwealth Games and organisers are confident that security will not be an issue.

"The security arrangements for the Commonwealth Games are constantly being monitored by the organising committee in tandem with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police," said organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

"We are sure we will have a safe and secure games and that the athletes will be able to perform, assured that they would be given the best protection.

"The Commonwealth Games Federation has been advised by its international security consultant that India is making the best."

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