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Security concerns leave doubts over Jaipur

Having gained the respect of the opposition during its successful campaign in the inaugural year of the IPL, an-underdog-turned-champion Rajasthan Royals on Saturday announced its plans for the upcoming season.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on hosting the opening game here against Delhi Daredevils to Mumbai on April 10 due to rising security concern, chairman and co-owner of Rajasthan Royals Manoj Badale remained optimistic about hosting the six other home games in the State capital.

With the IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi voted out of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, chances of Jaipur playing the host for Rajasthan Royals do not seem very bright.

At present, indications are that Rajasthan Royals is looking at prospects of holding its ‘home’ games in Ahmedabad and one other venue in Gujarat.

“After all, seven of our players hail from Gujarat and it makes sense for us to explore possibilities of staging some games there,” said Badale.

With the revised schedule still being worked out, the champion side was hopeful of giving its fans much to cheer about if and when the games are played here at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.

Two other co-owners, Raj Kundra and actress Shilpa Shetty, unveiled the new gear for the team, a new “war cry” for the team titled ‘Halla Bol’ and a small bugle in the team’s colours for its fans.

Badale announced that there would be a set of three DVDs that takes a look at the team’s surprise title-win last year.

It was also announced that a movie titled ‘Googly’ was being made on the team’s journey to the title.

Four team members — Siddharth Trivedi, Dinesh Salunkhe, Swapnil Asnodkar and Niraj Patel — were attended the function.

Answering questions, Badale maintained that given a choice, Rajasthan Royals’ home game would be played in Jaipur.

“But this decision is no longer with us. Given the current security concerns, after what happened in Lahore, we no longer have control over certain decisions.

The inaugural game obviously demands more resources pertaining to security.

It is a decision taken by the IPL and not by the Rajasthan Royals,” he said.

He dismissed doubts over the participation of some of the overseas players contracted by his team and read out a mail from Shane Warne to substantiate his point.

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