New Delhi:Home Minister P Chidambaram reckons the Indian Premier League could have been held in India in two parts if the organisers had taken into account the security concerns and not put pressure on the state governments.
"We could have done it, but only if they (IPL officials) had reflected on the concerns of the police and not try to pressurise the (state) chief ministers," Chidambaram said.
"I am not letting out any secret by that. If they had only listened to the concerns of the police, this tournament could have been played in two parts. First the league part and then give a break for the critical three or four week period and then the knock-out part," he told a news channel.
IPL, which coincided with the general elections in the country, was shifted to South Africa after the government expressed reservations on providing security for the tournament. BCCI President Shashank Manohar had cited "the attitude of government" as the reason for shifting the IPL to South Africa.
"But they (IPL organisers) were trying to be too clever by putting the pressure on chief ministers and ultimately the police told the chief ministers that 'sorry, we cannot provide security'," he said.
Chidambaram said the IPL organisers refused to understand the difficulties and compulsions of police forces and denied that there was any ego clash with tournament Commissioner Lalit Modi.
"Where is the ego? I am too small a person compared to Mr Modi. The point is they did not try to understand the compulsions and concerns of the police force.
"Ultimately the political buck will stop at the chief minister but the burden will have to be taken by the police. They should have understood the concerns of the police," he said.
Asked if he had any regrets of being forced to watch the IPL on television, Chidambaram said: "I will watch it on television and will be amongst the 98 per cent of the viewers who watch the IPL on television. Only two per cent of the viewers watch the IPL matches on the ground."