Security forces IPL move

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The 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament is now set to be played outside India, because the sports event coincides with the country's April–May election and its government cannot provide security for both.

The Twenty20 competition, which debuted in India last year, is the largest sports event to be shifted from South Asia following November 2008's terrorist attack in Mumbai and the March 2009 assault on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Lahore. The IPL is scheduled to be played between 10 April and 24 May, whereas India's parliamentary elections will take place in five phases between 16 April and 13 May 2009. South Africa and England both offered their services as alternative host countries, with the former being chosen due to better weather conditions. Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), announced the decision at a press conference in Mumbai on 22 March following a meeting with IPL organisers and team owners, including several Bollywood stars and billionaire industrialists. His full statement was as follows:"The IPL had declared its tournament schedule in India before the Lok Sabha election dates were announced. Thereafter, the home ministry asked the IPL to furnish fresh dates which would not coincide with the election dates. The IPL's fresh dates were rejected by the home ministry. We, thereafter, submitted a revised schedule which was also rejected by the home ministry. Then we approached the respective state governments. The governments of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh gave us the clearance. The home minister of Maharashtra gave us the clearance and the Andhra Pradesh government also did the same. Therefore, we submitted another schedule to the home ministry. Unfortunately for reasons best known to the state, the chief minister of Maharashtra passed an order yesterday (Saturday 21 March) saying that the IPL matches cannot be held in Maharashtra until 13 May. The Andhra Pradesh government revoked the earlier permission. We have received a letter from the Maharashtra government that the IPL cannot hold matches in Maharashtra until 13 May. Eighteen matches were scheduled in the state. In view of the stand taken by the two governments, an emergency working committee meeting of the BCCI was called today. I am not at all upset with the decisions of the governments. At the working committee meeting, we considered all aspects of the IPL. We are aware that the people of India had loved this event and gave us great support last year and they are eagerly waiting for this event to happen again. We made the best endeavour to see that the IPL Season II takes place in India. However, because of the attitude of the governments that they are not in a position to provide security, particularly by the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, we were forced to a decision to move the event out of India. We are in discussion with other boards who have shown willingness to hold the IPL in their respective countries. My apologies to the people of India that we are not able to hold this event in India. But we have taken into consideration the feelings of the Indian public and we are going ahead with the event so that they can at least watch it on television. Because of an extraordinary situation, the IPL Season II will be held overseas. I don't think the franchisees would oppose the decision of the BCCI because they also want the event to happen. "

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