I will probably be sued for stealing the title, the credits for the title goes to the creative team at NDTV 24X7 who had a special named ‘IPL: Modi-fied, an exclusive interview with Mr. Lalit Modi the chairman of the IPL committee after announcing a go ahead recieved from the Indian government.
“We are not Pakistan, We are a Safe Country” said Lalit Modi when asked about hovering doubts over security issues with the players traveling to India to be a part of the highly rich season two of the Indian Premier league. “Centralized security will be provided to all the players”, ” The organizers will be completely responsible for player security” pointed out Modi. The IPL will go about as decided.. i.e. Starting April 10 thro May 24 2009… The EPL(English premier league) does not stop or gets rescheduled when there is an election in England.. We leave it to the people to choose what they want to watch.. The only changes will probably be with the dates and the venues, which is expected to be out by the end of the week..
Modi clarified the use of centralized security forces which include a combination of private and state government security agencies for monitoring teams, players, officials, venues and grounds. This statement came after discussions with team owners and the state government representatives who were called in to voice their concerns. Modi also confirmed the use of new venues, of which 3 have been confirmed as Ahmedabad, Dharmashala and Vishakapatnam for use during the election days. Modi also said that Mumbai will play host to both the opening and closing ceremonies of this season. Rajasthan Royals team owners, Emerging Media, showed disappointment regarding the change in plans as they were prepared to play host to the opening ceremony, match. “All preparations have been made and now we will have reschedule everything.. we are disappointed.. It’s how cricket works..” said co-Owner of Rajasthan Royals. Modi clarified that it was more to do with the infrastructure of the stadium at Jaipur than any other personal problems with RCA (Rajasthan Cricket Association) where he was politically removed as the member of the working committee.
After attacks in Pakistan, Many players had voiced concerns over playing in the IPL, Modi stated that it was the players personal choice.. however he is constant communication with these players and assuring them of full security when in India. Modi was sure that all players including the Srilankans who were shaken up by the attacks will attend the IPL. “I have personally spoken to all the members of the srilankan team, they are all set and geared for the tournament.. Obviously they have been shaken up but they are coming.” said Modi.
Modi also said that the security arrangements will be similar to the one after the Mumbai Attacks when the England team returned to India for the test series. Modi also said that the security budget has increased to up to 10 times, and the fact about having a centralized security during the IPL was decided way back in October even before the Mumbai Attacks ever took place. Earlier, The team franchisee’s were responsible for the security and movement of players from one city to another, by making it a centralized system, the security will be enhanced and this will also help monitor it better.
About the venues, He informed that he is in constant communication with the other venue boards confirmation of which is to be received by the end of the week. He confirmed Ahmedabad, Vizag and Dharmashala as the confirmed venues for hosting the matches, the number is still a question. Jaipur and Chennai will host less matches than what they were scheduled to be after both state governments voiced the problem of availability of the security personnel. Chennai will play host to only 5 games, which includes the 2 semi finals and 3 host matches said Modi. Wonder why the Chennai government backed out.. Disappointing 😦
The only day when there will no matches is the Counting day (May 10) of the elections. Matches earlier scheduled on the voting day will move out of the state or rescheduled to another day pointed out Modi also stating that people watching at home will be no short of entertainment. Overall, it’s going to be good for the game of cricket, more so for the Indian subcontinent. By not postponing the IPL, Indian board has given good signs to world cricket, and even positive signs averting any disasters when hosting the Cricket World Cup in 2011.
A revised schedule is reported to be arriving at the end of the week.. I will post it as soon as it comes.. For now, fingers crossed, I hope there are no attacks what-so-ever.. coming from external terrorist organizations or internal organizations (the parties contesting the elections). All we hope is for a good game of cricket and a closely contested election 😛
PS: Have a look at this 😛