The seventh edition of the high-profile Indian Premier League could be shifted to South Africa due to the security concerns posed by the upcoming General Elections, the dates of which are clashing with the event.
The Indian Premier League Authorities will be meeting Home Ministry officials next week and a final decision on the venue and the exact schedule is expected to be taken in the coming 10 days. The general elections are scheduled to be held in April-May. "We are considering so many options. We are meeting the Home Ministry officials and the Home Minister (Sushil Kumar Shinde) to know the possible dates on which we can accommodate (the IPL) in India as far as possible, we are keen holding the matches in India. If not, South Africa is the preferred destination. But also the second and third options are open," IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal said.
He, however, did not name the second and third options speculated to be Bangladesh and the UAE. "What we are asking is, we have a window from April 9 to June 3. We will be speaking to the government officials in the Home Ministry. We want to hold maximum number of matches in India and if we get the green signal, probably we can hold all the matches in India," he said.
The IPL had been shifted to South Africa in 2009 as well because of similar security concerns posed by general elections. Lalit Modi was the IPL Commissioner at that time. "We are in constant touch with franchises, we have taken them into confidence in the last two days we held a series of meetings with them. We have made our stand clear. They appreciated our concerns and they given us cooperation on this matter," Biswal said. "We are making efforts to meet the Home Ministry officials next week. After that, we will have the Governing Council meeting, where we will decide on the venue and dates.
We are looking at another 10 days time to sort out the issue," he added.
On to the ongoing players' auction, Biswal was asked about the move to bring in uncapped players into the pool. "Basically, we did not want to differentiate between capped and uncapped players. We wanted to get the uncapped players value. Most of the uncapped players fetched good money and some of them have landed in crores. "It is a good beginning for the youngsters. I believe this is a good initiative by the IPL GC. The working committee has ratified it and so it is a great beginning. Players who perform in domestic circuit got best of the price," he said.
Reacting to complaint filed by Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya's complaint against Kolkata Knight Riders for reopening the bid for Yuvraj Singh despite the hammer going down, Biswal said the auctioneer's decision on the matter was final.
Mallya had alleged that he ended up paying Rs 4 crore more than what he had planned due to KKR's late bid. "We had a Governing Council meeting and at the end of the day, auctioneer is the final authority. He has taken a decision and the IPL Governing Council has gone with it," he said.