Franchise owners have no problems if IPL goes abroad

IPL franchise owners said they had no problem with the BCCI's decision to shift the Twenty20 League out of the country.

updated: March 22, 2009 11:16 IST
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Indian Premier League franchise owners on Sunday said they had no problem with the BCCI's decision to shift the Twenty20 League out of the country as holding the general elections was a bigger issue before the government.

Kolkata Knight Riders owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan said he could understand the security constraints in holding the event while the country went to polls.

"We have to respect the elections in the country. That is a bigger issue than our issue. By shifting the IPL abroad, we have tried to find a solution to the problem," Shah Rukh told reporters after meeting IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi here.

"Off course the local buzz wouldn't be as strong as it is here but I guess elections will take care of the buzz," he quipped.

Asked whether he would be there to watch all the matches featuring his team as was the case in the first edition, Shah Rukh said it would depend on how the schedule plans out.

"I will try to be there for as many matches as possible. Hopefully the schedule will help me," he said.

King XI Punjab's co-owner Preity Zinta echoed Khan's views and said general elections have to be given precedence. "As Shah Rukh said, we have to take elections into consideration. We have no problem with that," she said.

Preity said the IPL teams will have no trouble finding a fan base even in a foreign country. "That won't be a problem. We have lot many fans everywhere," she said.

"We are going to make arrangements centrally. The IPL Governing Council will manage every venue and do the logistics of the venue," added Modi.

IPL was moved out of country after state governments' refusal to provide security for the matches in the wake of general elections.

England or South Africa are the front runners to host the event and a decision on it would be taken on Monday.

Although disappointed at the tournament being shifted out of the country, the Rajasthan Royals said it was still better than not having the event at all.

"The news that we received at the owners conference is disappointing, given the huge anticipation and excitement that exists for the IPL in India," Rajasthan Royals chairman Manoj Badale said in a statement.

"However, if the choice is no tournament, or the tournament in another country, then we clearly prefer the latter. The locations and options presented are all viable, and we are working closely with the IPL, as they formulate a decision over the next 24 hours," he added.