Elections to be given 48 hour window
Whilst exuding confidence over successfully holding the second installment of the IPL, league’s commissioner Lalit Modi said that they would certainly review the dates to ensure that there is at least a 48 hour cushion.
“The general election is a six-week long affair lasting till May 16,” he told a newspaper. “That does not mean that all the cities hosting IPL matches will be busy with polling activities throughout this period.”
The IPL has begun a security review meet in wake of the recent Lahore attacks.
Citing a case study example, Modi said: “Let us consider the example of Mumbai, which goes to polls on April 30. So we will try and not have anything in Mumbai on the day before the polling date, on that day and if required even the day after.”
Modi said that the IPL representatives would hold talks with the government regarding the issue in the coming days. “We are sensitive to the fact when there is a need at a particular venue because of elections and we’ll ensure full cooperation.”
“We will discuss this with the government,” he said.
Modi said that such a scenario had been kept in mind while the itinerary for IPL Season 2 was being drawn. “We did see this coming. That is precisely why we had increased the number of kits and crews for this year’s tournament. During the player auctions, I had personally announced this and our plans to have matches in catchment areas also. We have a lot more to choose from in case any particular venue cannot host a match on a particular day.”
In the aftermath of the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore on Tuesday, Modi insisted that security would be paramount during the Twenty20 extravaganza and assured franchises that the BCCI and IPL would be solely responsible for it.
“Franchisees need not bother about security, it’s a central issue and we’ll take all precautions. The government has been stringent about security.”
Modi also refused to draw parallels between the security situations in India and Pakistan.
“In Pakistan, the fear factor has been constant. In India, we took adequate measures to keep cricket away from it.”
“We have a weekend security meeting with experts from South Africa,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile in another interview to a TV channel, BCCI member IS Bindra said that while the board would try to convince the Government, latter’s stand would be final.
“If the Home Ministry says no, it just can’t happen.”