Now, Maharashtra DGP wants postponement of IPL tourney

March 20th, 2009 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) With barely three weeks to go before its opening, the beleagured Indian Premier League (IPL) got another jolt Friday with the Maharashtra police seeking postponement of the cricket tournament on grounds of security.
The state’s Director-General of Police (Elections) Suprabhat Chakravarty said the security forces would be severely constrained in view of the Lok Sabha elections during the period the IPL is proposed to be held.

The DGP has sought postponement of the IPL to sometime in May, or after the three-phased elections in the state are completed.

“There is no point in putting any extra strain on the police and security forces, which shall be fully occupied with the election duties,” Chakravarty said.

Justifying the proposal to postpone the league, Chakravarty said even if there were no elections in cities of Maharashtra where IPL matches are scheduled, the security forces would be on protection duties, which is very strenuous.

On these counts, Chakravarty said the IPL could be held after April 30 when voting in the last of the three-phase elections in the state is completed.

The DGP’s statement came as a bolt from the blue for the IPL organisers who have allotted as many as 18 venues for matches across the state, including 14 in and around Mumbai.

Tourney director Neeraj Malhotra said the IPL may shift a few matches out of the state if required.

“We are still working around it since we have been advised that all the 18 matches cannot be held in the state. We hope to come out with a revised schedule by the weekend,” Malhotra said.

However, he said that it would not be possible to postpone or delay the IPL tourney till after the elections since the Twenty20 World Cup has been scheduled in June.

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