Indian Premier League March 22, 2009

IPL to be played outside India

Cricinfo staff

England and South Africa have emerged as the front-runners to host the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the BCCI decided, following days of inconclusive negotiations with the Indian home ministry and various state governments, to shift the tournament out of India. The venue and new schedule will be announced soon.

Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said the tournament had been relocated "because of the extraordinary situation existing this year." The 45-day tournament clashes with the forthcoming general elections in India and there had been concerns over security.

Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa's chief executive, said South Africa was ready to host the tournament if needed. He expected to have "positive discussions" with Indian officials in this regard over phone on Monday.

The ECB said it had received a request from the Indian board and the IPL and was examining the possibility of hosting the tournament. ECB chairman Giles Clarke told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme he was willing to help his Indian counterparts. "We normally talk to them a great deal and we would be delighted to help again," he said.

Explaining the decision to move out, N Srinivasan, the BCCI general secretary, said the Indian board was not in a position to either play a truncated IPL or to cancel the tournament's second edition. "It is a matter of great regret that, in the prevailing atmosphere, where the government is expressing concern for providing security to the IPL matches, the BCCI is left with no other option but to conduct the IPL in another country," he said.

Manohar said the board considered all aspects of the matter at an emergency meeting. "We are aware that the people of India love this event and have given us great support last year and are eager for this year's event," he said. "We made our best efforts to see that the event takes place in India. However, because of the government's attitude that they cannot provide security, particularly by the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, we were forced to take a decision to move the event out of India.

"My apologies to the people of India for not being able to hold the event in India."

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, who was present at the working committee meeting said there will be no changes made to the tournament's format or the schedule. "Dates and timings of the matches will remain the same. The Indian audiences can watch the matches at 4 pm and 8 pm IST as they did in the inaugural season," he said.

He said there was no chance of the final leg of games being played in India. "We explored all possibilities of moving the semi-finals and final to India," Modi said. "But it would have been too exhausting for the players. Players have to go back to England for the World Twenty20 (beginning on June 5)."

However, he refused to speak on the revenue-sharing agreement with the prospective foreign boards and pointed out that the tournament's focus was to provide the best possible entertainment for the Indian fan.

"We are not bothered about the cost factor but the issue is the integrity of the tournament. The issue is holding all 59 matches as scheduled," Modi said.

Manohar also said the BCCI officials would be having a discussion with the eight franchise owners and believed they would not have any objection. "We will hold discussions with the owners. I don't think the franchises would oppose us," he said.

However, the move out of India will not affect players from Pakistan - they still not be allowed to take part. "IPL announced the squads 30 days in advance," Modi said. "No changes are allowed in that. Unfortunately, no Pakistan player will play this year."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prasant on March 24, 2009, 9:35 GMT

    I've been reading all the comments and some people are blaming BCCI & IPL. Well its a indian primier leugue & IPL tried hard to make it happen in india. They revised schedule 3 times but government showed attitude so if anyone is to blame for then its government. One should also blame Pakistan because everything was on course until lahor attack. Security concern were increased and all this feared came after lahor attack. Its like one make mistake and others have to pay for it. Well so its better to have IPL elsewhere than no IPL. I know its indian league but people must remember indian are all over the world and not only indians, but all cricket loving fan want to see IPL. To me election is just a waste of time and money in time of recession. All the politicians are same, may be new government but the result will be same, same policy, fake promises and big talk, we'll do this and that but no action. Cricket is like a religion in india and government taken a step against the religion.

  • Antu on March 23, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    This is the Black day of Indian Cricket History. BCCI create the oppertunity, other teams to cancel the Tour with India, and also it is possible ICC can move all Future tours (Champions Trophy and World Cup) to other Countries.

    IPL was conducted, because of big income coming from Indian Marketters Advertisement. We can watch this cricket like a County cricket, i watch lot of 20-20 county matches before it get fame outside England.

    But there is action for Indian Viewers.

  • Niranjan on March 23, 2009, 16:17 GMT

    The worst thing to happen to India since the Partition.

  • Ramaswmy on March 23, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    I just want to make a single comment. Whether IPL is stands for INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE or INTERNATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE? Pls explain. I think Modi is a good entrepreneur...

  • Shahid on March 23, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    This will certainly give another excuse to ICC to move the 2011 world cup out of the subcontinent. If India, which is the biggest partner, can't manage a domestic event how could a world event be managed? I'm not saying this but ICC and the teams outside of subcontinent will bring up this question. Did BCCI think about it or they are just too busy calculating the profits.

  • Ishan on March 23, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    All those people talking about the IPL being just about money need to think again. This is not about money at all. It would be much worse if some terrorist activity jeopardizes the entire tournament. This is not an ideal situation but safety has to be the primary objective.

  • Franklin on March 23, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    It's great that the IPL will not clash with the polls. But by moving the IPL out of the country, the IPL organizers are going to prevent a whole bunch of cricketers from voting in the LS and State polls in April/May. Isn't that negligence on the part of Lalit Modi? Or would he pay for the trips of the concerned players to fly home for the vote?

  • Shubham on March 23, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    As long as you don't go to watch matches in the Stadium, it doesn't matter to you that where they are played.

  • loky on March 23, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    It seems that the IPL team could have lost the battle for establishing the supremacy of cricket as the No1 priority of the Indian people. ti think they are smarting from this defeat but their decision of taking the IPL out of India the have defeated the very purpose of the IPL tournament ie establishing it as the most important sporting event in the Indian calendar. The franchisees seem to have not understood the depth of this move and have blindly gone along with it and have sought some solace in the fact that they now are the victimized lot, in my opinion this is not really any gain at all.My sympathies are with the planning team , i don't think they could have forecast that the elections would be held at a time clashing with their tourney. but I wonder if they had taken into account the elections at all and if they had when in their wisdom did they think it would have been held? makes for interesting reading especially since all their activities seem to be usually well planned.

  • Joshua on March 23, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    First off, I'm Aussie and I love the IPL. I watched a good forty or so of the games last year, regularly not getting to sleep until four or five in the morning.

    There is one glaringly obvious reason why the tournament can't be held here and in NZ. That is, in April and May, half the games will be rained out. The other huge one, which you Aussies whinging for the game to be held here should have realised, is that with the AFL (Aussie rules football) being played at the same time, there won't be enough grounds available, and most people would be more inclined to go see the footy anyway. That's without even getting into the political, financial and logistical reasons.

    For the rest of you, if you truly love your cricket then you'll watch and support it regardless of where it's being held.

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