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IPL moves to India from May 1: Biswal

Dubai: The second and final phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) VII will return to India from May 1, according to one of their top officials.

“We have received positive feedback from most of the respective state governments where the franchises are based, giving us the clearance on staging matches once their respective phase of elections are over. Our team is now working on the schedule for the remaining 40 matches,” said Ranjib Biswal, chairman of the IPL governing council.

The IPL was, for the first time, faced with the prospect of being split in three phases — as the Indian Home Ministry could not guarantee security forces in view of the forthcoming general elections in the country. While naming the UAE as the offshore venue for the first leg between April 16-30, the BCCI said late last month that the event is likely to move to India from May 1 with Bangladesh on stand-by should the clearance from state governments fail to arrive on time.

Bangladesh, along with the UAE and South Africa, were the three options initially considered by BCCI as offshore venues, but it looks like they will now have to wait for their share of the IPL pie.

In another development on Tuesday night, the BCCI has shelved the idea of an opening ceremony for the public at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 15 night to avoid the possibility of any damage to the wicket. A “gala dinner” is being planned instead at the Emirates Palace Hotel where Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan will be putting on a performance.

“The dinner will have the flavour of an opening ceremony with the presence of at least four to five teams and of course, Shah Rukh’s appearance,” informed sources said.