In an official statement given to the press and Media, The working committee of IPL announced moving this year tournament to a place outside India. England and SouthAfrica have been penned as the the front-runners to host the second season of the Indian Premier league (IPL) after inconclusive negotiations of the board with the Indian Home Ministry and various state governments to shift the tournament outside of India.
The venue and the new schedule will be announce on toady, the 23rd of March. Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said the tournament had been relocated “because of the extraordinary situation existing this year.” The 45-day tournament clashes with the forthcoming general elections in India and there had been concerns over security.
This statement came after a never ending game of ‘Yes’ ‘No’ politics played by the central and the state governments over the issue ended, Thanks to the Maharastra state government which pulled out at the last minute asking for fresh dates post the polls. The IPL committee in the last meeting with the Home Ministry had submitted over about 40 possible schedules only to be rejected. With only about 15 days to go for the tournament the organizers will now need to work day and night to get things better than the last season.
Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa’s chief executive, said South Africa was ready to host the tournament if needed. He expected to have “positive discussions” with Indian officials in this regard over phone on Monday. CSA has sidelined five venues to host the event and is now waiting for the official call from the IPL working committee with exact requirements. CSA also confirmed availability of all the necessary infrastructure and promised a larger turnout of people to watch the matches as the timezones were not much different.
Mr Lalit Modi, who was also present at the press conference confirmed that the matches will be played at 4PM IST (Indian Standard Time – 10.30 AM GMT) and 8PM IST so that the Indian Public will not miss out on the action. He also ridiculed all doubts about whether the semi-finals and the finals will be played in India. “The semis and the finals cannot and will not be hosted in India as this would add more stress amongst the players who will be preparing for the ICC world twenty20.” ICC world Twenty20 begins June 6 2009 in England.
The ECB said it had received a request from the Indian board and the IPL and was examining the possibility of hosting the tournament. The board however showed lesser interest than the counter-part (CSA) issuing a statement that said that the temperature now in England is not suitable for playing cricket. “It’s very cold to play Cricket” said CEO of ECB. The boars however said that they were in discussions with the IPL committee and will not back out to help BCCI as they have had a very healthy relationship in the past.
What’s the loss? The franchisees stand a bigger loss after the tournament was moved out of India. The first major setback is the ticketing sales, Each franchisee will lose Rs.5 crore per match just for the ticket sales at their respective venues. Adding to further financial burden will be the newly incurred travel expenses. But they should be thanking all their luck as if at this point, if the tournament stood canceled, The franchisees could have been in a bigger hole. Sony however should gain from this, increased television viewership and more ad’s. I hope the BCCI instructs Sony or reccomends some rules for airing ad’s.We don’t want a 5 ball over or an interuption in the screen at a crucial point in the match.
Explaining the decision to move out, N Srinivasan, the BCCI general secretary, said the Indian board was not in a position to either play a truncated IPL or to cancel the tournament’s second edition. “It is a matter of great regret that, in the prevailing atmosphere, where the government is expressing concern for providing security to the IPL matches, the BCCI is left with no other option but to conduct the IPL in another country,” he said. It just did not happen, The government kept complaining about security and the board kept trying. Sooner than Later, the BCCI had to decide an alternate venue given the money around the tournament. People who watched the matches on TV should not be complaining, It’s just people like me who went into the stadiums and cheered the teams who will lose our on some fast-paced Cricket action. Given the specuations that were going around, I’m still thankful that the tournament is taking place. Hopefully the tournament will live up to the expectations specially after the controversies surrounding the start of the season.
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Official Statements, Coutesy: CricInfo