All franchises wanted the show to go on: Mallya

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Royal Challengers' owner Vijay Mallya said all eight IPL franchises wanted the tournament, shifted overseas by the Cricket Board, to be held as per schedul

Updated: March 22, 2009 12:37 IST
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All eight IPL franchises wanted the high-profile Twenty20 tournament, shifted overseas on Sunday by the Cricket Board, to be held as per schedule and were therefore in favour of the BCCI's decision, said Bangalore's Royal Challengers team owner Vijay Mallya.

"We are happy that the tournament is being held. It was unfortunate that it is not in India despite trying to adjust the dates because of the ensuing general elections. All the franchises without exception wanted the show to go on," the liquor baron told reporters here today.

Mallya said that the Lalit Modi-led IPL has given an assurance to the team owners that their financial interests would be fully protected. "IPL has assured us all that the financial interests will be fully protected, which shows true commitment on the part of the IPL and the BCCI. The change in venue does not mean that the competitive spirit would change. Fans across the country should not really complain. They will be able to watch on television," he said.

Mumbai Indians team owner Nita Ambani also echoed views similar to Mallya's and said she did not want the cash-rich league to be called off after it slipped under a cloud because of security reasons as its dates clashed with the Lok Sabha elections.

"My first objective was that I did not want IPL to be cancelled. Having the event in any country is good as long as it is during Indian television prime time (4 pm and 8 pm starts). Cost is something that IPL is looking at," she said.

"IPL has said that we will not have a loss. IPL are saying that they will bear the losses. IPL is doing it (commercial aspect) carefully," she added.

Manoj Badale, Chairman and co-owner of first edition champions Rajasthan Royals, also said that when the choice for his team was between no-show and shifting overseas the latter won out hands down.

"The news that we received at the owners' conference is disappointing, given the huge anticipation and excitement that exists for the IPL in India. However, if the choice is no tournament, or the tournament in another country, then we clearly prefer the latter," he said.

"The locations and options presented are all viable, and we are working closely with the IPL, as they formulate a decision over the next 24 hours," he added.

King's XI owners too supported the BCCI decision as it ensured that the game went on.

"We support the Indian Premier League's decision to host season II of IPL at an International venue. BCCI and IPL have extended their full support and ensured that game must go on," a statement issued on the franchise's behalf said.

"Kings XI Punjab has fantastic online and offline plans and we believe that the international audience support will only boost the stature of the league and most importantly, the game of cricket," it added.

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