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South Africa lined up for possible IPL switch

Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Ranjib Biswal has admitted that the 2014 edition of the Twenty20 cricket competition could return to South Africa amid security concerns arising from a clash with the country’s general election.

Biswal said IPL officials are keen for the 2014 tournament, or the majority of its games, to remain in India. However, the general election is scheduled to be held in April-May, potentially providing additional strain on security resources with the IPL schedule, which is yet to be officially determined, operating within a window of April 9 to June 3.

“We are considering so many options,” Biswal said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. “We are meeting the home ministry officials and the home minister (Sushil Kumar Shinde) to know the possible dates on which we can accommodate (the IPL) in India as far as possible. We are keen holding the matches in India. If not, South Africa is the preferred destination. But also the second and third options are open.”

The second and third options are believed to be Bangladesh and the UAE, but IPL officials have experience of South Africa after the 2009 tournament was moved to the country, also because of security concerns arising from a general election that year. “What we are asking is, we have a window from April 9 to June 3,” Biswal said. “We will be speaking to the government officials in the home ministry. We want to hold maximum number of matches in India and if we get the green signal, probably we can hold all the matches in India.”

He added: “We are in constant touch with franchises, we have taken them into confidence in the last two days and we held a series of meetings with them. We have made our stand clear. They appreciated our concerns and they have given us cooperation on this matter. We are making efforts to meet the home ministry officials next week. After that, we will have the governing council meeting, where we will decide on the venue and dates. We are looking at another 10 days time to sort out the issue.”