Mumbai:Under a massive security cover, the Indian Premier League will start off from Mumbai on April 10 under a re-scheduled itinerary with two more centres, Ahmedabad and Visakhapatnam, added to the venues.
Apart from these two new additions, the hill-town of Dharamshala and Nagpur were also shortlisted as possible venues for the high-profile league, the schedule for which is yet to be announced.
"We are talking to Dharamshala and Nagpur is also in fray. Schedule is still being fine-tuned as I speak," IPL Chairman Lalit Modi said at a function to unveil the new logo for the event's second season.
Modi said IPL will take full responsibility for a centrally-managed security set-up which will cost 10 times more than last year.
Modi said the security of players, officials and fans will no longer be left to the individual franchises as was the case last year.
"Security is paramount for us. Players, officials and fans are all very important. Players' security was the responsibility of the teams last year but this time we have gone venue by venue managing the security centrally. Of course we will coordinate with the teams," Modi said at a function to unveil the new logo for IPL second season that starts April 10.
Elaborating on the security plan, Modi said, "From the minute a (foreign) player lands here to the minute he leaves India. From the minute an Indian player enters the hotel to the minute he leaves, we will be managing the security."
"It's a cumbersome template that was used during the India-England Test series last year. That was a rigorous plan put in place, shared with the government and the international board, in that case the England and Wales Cricket Board," Modi added.
"Security (budget) will be 10 times more than last year," he said without divulging the exact figure.
IPL's security has become a major issue after the Lahore terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers, six of whom were injured, and last year's Mumbai carnage.
Asked about the reported apprehensions of foreign players and the host state governments, Modi said, "Three state governments (of the eight involved) have already given us their clearance in writing. The other five are expected to give it in a day or so. One state government had asked for a change of date and we are working it out."
"No foreign player has so far contacted the IPL to say that he is apprehensive. They have never been uncomfortable about coming here. India is not Pakistan, we are a safe country," he said.
Modi also rejected the Federation of International Cricketers Association's demands for a say in the security arrangements for IPL.
"The IPL is conducted by BCCI and the BCCI talks directly to the Boards. We have never been in touch with FICA. But of course they will talk to the other Boards and coordinate with them," Modi said.
The opening and closing ceremonies as well as the inaugural and summit ties of the April 10-May 24 event would be held at the D Y Patil Stadium in Nerul, Navi Mumbai.
Modi revealed that Chennai, home to last year's semifinalists Chennai Super Kings, will not get to host all seven of its planned games.
"There are a few blackout dates involved because of the elections. So they will not be hosting all seven of their matches," he said.
Modi said tenders have been floated for multiplexes vying to show live telecast of the IPL matches but with a clause.
"If Mumbai is hosting a match, then the multiplexes there cannot show that match on that day, they will have to show the match going on in some other city," he said.
Modi also made it clear that the IPL Governing Council had decided not to allow the Twenty20 League to be used for political campaigns by any party for the Lok Sabha polls.
Modi said the confirmed contracted revenue for the second edition of the IPL has gone up by Rs 1,725 crore.
"Now it's Rs 10,790 crore. Two official partner slots are still open. We are in talks and are close to signing up one of them", he said.