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Mukesh Ambani bats for IPL with Chidambaram
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Industrialist and owner of Mumbai Indians, one of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket teams, Mukesh Ambani, today met Home Minister P Chidambaram and is understood to have discussed the schedule of the league’s second edition.

The meeting assumes importance as eight states have expressed their inability to provide security cover for the gala cricketing event in view of the dates overlapping with the general elections beginning April 16.

Ambani is also believed to have apprised Chidambaram about the losses that team franchisees would suffer if the league were to be postponed, sources said.

The spokesperson of Ambani-run Reliance Industries declined to comment.

In a statement yesterday, the home ministry had said it “may not be feasible to hold the matches according to the revised schedule submitted by them (IPL organisers)”.

The league was first postponed after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this month and, according to the revised schedule, it was to be held between April 10 and May 24.

Meanwhile, the IPL organisers are understood to have started the cumbersome process of re-working the dates in a bid to salvage the high-profile Twenty20 cricket event.

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and CEO Sundar Raman, who air-dashed from Mumbai last night, spent the entire day in New Delhi, attending meetings to find a way out of the imbroglio.

“We are working on a new schedule. Hopefully, everything will be sorted out,” IPL Tournament Director Dhiraj Malhotra said.

But even as frantic discussions were on, IPL received another jolt with Bangalore Police declining to provide security cover for the tournament till May 3 and advised the organisers to hold all matches after May 4.

“Bangalore City police will not be in a position to give security for IPL matches till May 3 in view of commitments regarding Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka on April 23 and April 30,” Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said.

However, Bidari said security could be provided if matches were played on May 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 19 and 20, suggesting the organisers should reschedule the dates. According to the earlier schedule, drawn prior to the announcement of Lok Sabha polls, matches were to be played on April 14, 19, 23 and May 3, 7, 15 and 19.

An IPL source said: “We are constantly fine-tuning the schedule to address the concerns of all the states hosting the matches. It is a tight situation and, if need be, we may have to have three matches on a number of days or add some new venues to complete the event within the specific dates.”

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