BCCI hints Congress govts blocking IPL

CNN-IBN
Mar 21, 2009 at 06:39pm IST

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) crucial Working Committee meeting on Sunday will end the confusion over the future of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is cloud due to some match dates clashing with General Elections.

Many state governments have expressed their inability to provide security for the Twenty20 tournament due to General Elections.

BCCI sources have told CNN-IBN that it is only the Congress chief ministers who are creating hurdles in staging the IPL. Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has refused to give the final clearance for holding the Twenty20 matches in the state even though Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil had given a go ahead to the League just a few days ago.

THE IPL TEAM: Industrialists Mallya, IPL chief Modi and actors SRK and Zinta pose during an IPL function.

The sources also say that the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has also backtracks after giving a go-ahead to IPL.

However, IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi has promised the tournament will not be truncated.

"There are no chances of truncation," Modi said after a BCCI Working Committee meeting involving Board President Shashank Manohar, ICC Vice-President Sharad Pawar and BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan.

Speculations were rife on Saturday over a shortened season two of the IPL, but Modi maintained the league organisers had enough back-up options ready.

"Let us not speculate. We have back-up options," Modi said.

Meanwhile, sources told CNN-IBN that it is up to Pawar's political clout to get the government to agree to the IPL's final dates.

Another meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, but the final decision depends now on Pawar. IPL franchises owners will also meet IPL and BCCI officials at 1200 hrs IST Sunday soon after the BCCI meeting scheduled at 1100 hrs IST.

The IPL commissioner had on Friday mentioned that organisers were ready with multiple schedules to meet any kind of eventuality.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has clearly said the elections are more important than cricket.

In an exclusive interview to Karan Thapar, he made it clear that he has told the states they can't cut down on forces promised for the polls.

"It is the responsibility of the state government to provide security to the IPL matches. I have made it very clear that I cannot exempt any state government from committing the number security forces for elections that they have promised and that I can't spare any paramilitary forces," said Chidambaram.

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