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Franchises back BCCI decision

All eight IPL franchises wanted the high-profile Twenty20 tournament to be held as per schedule and were therefore in favour of the BCCIs decision to shift the event overseas, said Bangalores Royal Challengers team owner Vijay Mallya.

“We are happy that the tournament is being held. It was unfortunate that it is not in India despite trying to adjust the dates because of the ensuing general elections. All the franchises without exception wanted the show to go on,” the liquor baron said.

Mallya said that the Lalit Modi-led IPL has given an assurance to the team owners that their financial interests would be fully protected.

“IPL has assured us all that the financial interests will be fully protected, which shows true commitment on the part of the IPL and the BCCI. The change in venue does not mean that the competitive spirit would change. Fans across the country should not really complain. They will be able to watch on television,” he said.

Mumbai Indians team owner Nita Ambani also echoed views similar to Mallya’s and said she did not want the cash-rich league to be called off after it slipped under a cloud because of security reasons. “My first objective was that I did not want IPL to be cancelled. Having the event in any country is good as long as it is during Indian television prime time (4 pm and 8 pm starts). Cost is something that IPL is looking at,” she said.

“IPL has said that we will not have a loss. IPL are saying that they will bear the losses. IPL is doing it (commercial aspect) carefully,” she added.

Manoj Badale, Chairman and co-owner of first edition champions Rajasthan Royals, said: “The locations and options presented are all viable, and we are working closely with the IPL, as they formulate a decision over the next 24 hours,” he added.

Kolkata Knight Riders owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan said he could understand the security constraints in holding the event while the country went to polls.

“We have to respect the elections in the country. That is a bigger issue than our issue. By shifting the IPL abroad, we have tried to find a solution to the problem,” Shah Rukh said.

“Of course the local buzz wouldn’t be as strong as it is here but I guess elections will take care of the buzz,” he quipped.

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