General elections in India next year may once again force the Indian Premier League (IPL) out of the country. The 2009 edition of the T20 event organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India was moved to South Africa for similar reasons.
According to a report in the Financial Express, the tournament as a whole or a portion of the matches may be shifted to either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh due to the Lok Sabha polls. The tournament usually spans a couple of months.
Played between April and May each year, BCCI is mulling options in case IPL 2014 coincided with the general elections. The dates of the polls, of course, are yet to be announced.
"A clear picture will emerge only after the dates for the Lok Sabha elections are announced. Until then, we are considering whether to have a few games in India and then move abroad, or vice versa. Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are short journeys, so logistically, it won't be much of a problem," a BCCI official has been quoted as saying.
Hosting IPL during or just before the general elections raises several complications including a severe strain on security forces to provide adequate cover. The central government in 2009 had refused to commit security by Indian paramilitary forces which eventually forced BCCI to shift the tournament to South Africa.
The current political term ends in May 2014 and the BCCI is believed to be preparing for any eventuality. "The decision to move to South Africa in 2009 was taken at the last minute, and nobody had expected then that there would be an issue regarding security. But we now know that such a situation may arise again, and we are getting ready for it," said an official in know of IPL developments.
In its seventh edition, IPL will feature eight teams as per the existing situation. Mumbai Indians are the defending champions.