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P Chidambaram: Govt to fix IPL issues
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Hop soared for cricket lovers, sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the media and advertising industry with Union home minister P Chidambaram offering to help IPL overcome security issues in holding the matches, albeit with a reworked schedule and with the possible opting out of some foreign star players.

Some of the match venues could also be different from those that hosted Season 1 of the IPL games, a thumping success. Industry estimates suggest that close to Rs 1,900 crore-2,000 crore worth of money would be generated during the tournament by the advertising, media and entertainment industry.

Stating that some rescheduling of IPL matches "seems unavoidable" to avoid an overlap with the general election, Chidambaram said in Hyderabad that "the government is ready to help as much as it can."

In Mumbai, Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner, IPL, insisted that the tournament was on track, adding that there was "no question of moving to another country".

Confirming that the MHA had received a revised IPL match schedule with dates altered to skip polling days and days too close to polling, Chidambaram said the government would try to help IPL overcome issues in holding matches. He also ruled out any need to shift the matches to a foreign location.

"It is the Indian Premier League, it must be played in India. We are here to fix all the IPL related matters.", the minister said and assured that playing cricket was safe in India. "We will ensure safety when the matches are played," he said, dispelling any fears regarding the security of players or the spectators.

A final decision will be taken on IPL security once the MHA has received the responses of the state governments to the revised schedule worked out by BCCI to avoid a clash with polling. The states are said to be keen on some help from the central forces to secure the match venues.

Once their formal replies are in, an overall picture of the force requirements would emerge. The MHA will then examine how many forces can be pulled out and from where, and, in that light, take a final call on the IPL series.

Chidambaram's offer of assistance in holding the IPL matches on Friday came two days after he suggested putting the series off, until after the elections on account of security concerns.

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