IPL bosses brainstorm on new schedule

The IPL organisers have started the cumbersome process of re-working the dates in a bid to salvage the high profile Twenty20 event starting next month.

updated: March 14, 2009 12:44 IST
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New Delhi:

With the Indian Premier League being thrown into jeopardy, the organisers have started the cumbersome process of re-working the dates in a bid to salvage the high profile Twenty20 cricket event starting next month.

The tournament, coinciding with the general elections, has run into rough weather after the Home Ministry asked the organisers to redraw the schedule as it was not feasible to hold the matches under the existing fixture because of security reasons.

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and CEO Sundar Raman, who air-dashed to the capital from Mumbai last night, spent the entire day here having meetings to find a way out of the imbroglio.

"We are working on a new schedule. Hopefully, everything will be sorted out", IPL Tournament Director Dhiraj Malhotra said.

But even as frantic discussions were going on, the IPL received another jolt with Bangalore Police declining to provide security cover for the tournament till May 3 and advised the organisers to hold all matches after May 4.

"We are constantly fine-tuning the schedule to address the concerns of all the states hosting the matches. It is a tight situation and if need be, we may have to have three matches on a number of days or add some new venues to complete the event within the specific dates", an IPL source said.

The IPL source said that they would get back to the Home Ministry after finalising the schedule.

The Home Ministry's directive to re-work the dates had come on Friday after eight states, where matches in the second edition of the highly successful tournament were to be held, said that they may not be able to provide security in view of the general elections beginning April 16.

"MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) is advising the IPL organisers that it may not be feasible to hold the matches as per the revised schedule submitted by them on March seven, 2009. IPL organisers have been advised to accommodate the concerns of various state governments and draw up a revised schedule and submit the same to the MHA," the Ministry said a statement.

The Home Minsitry communication has put a question mark on the multi-million dollar extravaganza although Modi has said they were willing to submit a new schedule.

The new development had come as a jolt for the organisers who had claimed last Tuesday that most of the states had agreed to provide security for the matches.

This is the second time that the IPL organisers have been asked to submit a revised schedule.

The IPL is keen to go ahead with the tournament as it was not possible to postpone the dates in view of the cramped international cricket calender. In case it is postponed, it can only be held at the same time next year.