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Full IPL in India despite Lok Sabha poll

Last updated on: March 04, 2019 14:12 IST

'Once the election schedule is announced, we will know which states are going to elections and in which phases.'
'Accordingly, we will announce the IPL schedule.'

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh celebrate Chennai Super Kings' IPL victory last season

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh celebrate the Chennai Super Kings's IPL victory last season. Photograph: Kind courtesy Chennai Super Kings/Instagram

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that the entire Indian Premier League will be held in India despite the tournament clashing with the Lok Sabha election.

When the IPL earlier clashed with the general election, the competition was held overseas.

In 2009, the entire tournament was staged in South Africa. In 2014, some matches were held in the UAE.

This year, the BCCI has decided to keep the IPL in India, and the IPL franchises have backed its decision.

The Lok Sabha election will be held in April-May and the schedule for the same is likely to be announced on Saturday, March 9.

 

"Though the general election will overlap with the IPL, we have decided to keep the IPL within the territories of India," BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary told the media at the board's Mumbai headquarters on Monday.

"Once the election schedule is announced, we will know which areas or states are going to elections in which phases. Accordingly, we will announce the IPL schedule," Choudhary added.

The IPL, which kicks off on March 23, has announced the schedule for only the first 17 games.

"We are ready with the schedule for the balance part as well," IPL CEO Hemang Amin said, adding, "but it depends on how the election schedule comes out and the phases in which the eight IPL cities go for polling."

Amin added that the BCCI will try to stick to the home and away format as much as possible, but if the schedule gets too tight then some teams could play at neutral venues.

"At this point in time, we don't see any reason to go outside the country because we have around 18 to 20 venues where we can host matches," Amin pointed out. "So we can tag the election schedule if the main centres are going to be affected because of the polls."

"If you look at the schedule for the first 17 games it is based on a home and away format," Amin added.

"Six of the teams play four matches and four teams play five games. Every team plays two home matches and two or three away games."

There is a possibility that the IPL games could begin at 7.30 pm this year.

Broadcaster Star Sports last year suggested starting the second game at 7 pm instead of the usual 8 pm, but the IPL franchises turned down the request.

The play-off games, including the final, were played at 7 pm last year.

"Last year, " Amin said, "we had advanced the timings for the play-offs to start at 7 pm. We are still considering whether to advance it a bit or keep it at 8 pm because that also affects the afternoon game."

"For the last so many years we have been playing 12 to 15 afternoon games, so it impacts that. The players's well being will have to be considered if we are advancing the matches, because if we advance the 8 pm game then we have to advance the afternoon game as well," Amin added.

"Hopefully, within a week or so, we will announce the timings once we get the balance schedule ready."

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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