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Indian board to stage IPL abroad

THE Indian cricket board will stage the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament abroad this year due to security issues, the country's cricket chief said yesterday.

"Because the government... are not in a position to provide security, we were forced to take the decision to move the event outside of India," Indian cricket board (BCCI) President Shashank Manohar told a news conference in Mumbai. "We're having discussions with other boards who have shown their willingness."

The BCCI had failed to get government clearance for security cover despite revising the match dates three times because the tournament clashes with the country's general election, to be held between April 16 and May 13.

The IPL will be played on its original dates, between April 10 and May 24, and is scheduled to return to India next season, league commissioner Lalit Modi said.

Modi also told Sky Sports News that four possible venues, including England, were being considered to host the tournament.

The South African cricket board confirmed it had received an official request from the BCCI to be a possible host. "We received an official approach this morning to be one of several options they are considering to host the tournament outside India," Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Gerald Majola said in a statement.

Ready to host

South Africa will also stage the Champions Trophy one-day event in September.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke told BBC Radio Five Live that England would be ready to host the tournament if asked.

"We've got a very close and friendly relationship with the BCCI and...we'd be delighted to help if we can," he said.

Indian officials said the huge financial implications and a tight international calendar had forced their hand. The World Twenty20 begins in England in early June.

"Under the given circumstances, there is no other period for the conduct of IPL matches," the BCCI said in a statement.

Security concerns have dominated the build-up to the lucrative eight-team event, involving many big-name international players, after an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in the Pakistani city of Lahore earlier this month.


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