Just a couple of days after the dates of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were announced, the dark clouds continue to hover over the schedule and venues of Indian Premier League VII.
The Hindu has reported that the BCCI is looking to squeeze a major chunk of the tournament in India, and are pushing to get a clearance from the Home Ministry over staging the event in India from the first week of May itself, in states where the elections will finish on April 30.
Much like, in 2009, the Home Ministry has made no secret of the fact that they cannot spare security personnel for the bonanza event during the elections in April-May.
If the BCCI gets the go-ahead to bring the IPL back to India in the first week of May, then Bangladesh may be finalized as the country to host the initial stage of the event.
A BCCI official involved with the IPL confirmed that Bangladesh is the most preferred destination for the first stage of the tournament, given that the country will also host the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 from March 16 to April 6 : “I am dead against taking the first part of the IPL to UAE. We have to consider the cost factor of playing only 16 matches in South Africa. As of now, I think Bangladesh is the most likely destination as it is the preferred choice among BCCI and IPL officials.”
Speaking to The Hindu, a top official in the BCCI said : “The election commission has announced the Lok Sabha election schedule and we think there is an opportunity to shift the IPL to India in the first week of May. Elections in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha would finish on April 30 and hence we want to schedule the tournament in India for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
If things fall into place, then Bangladesh will host 16 league matches from April 13 or 14 onwards, before the IPL bandwagon roars into India.
Watch this space for more!