Elections and IPL

On 3/3/2009 Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked by terrorists in Lahore. Lahore Test was abandoned, tour was cancelled and Sri Lankan cricketers returned home.

India’s Home Ministry said that IPL should be postponed as it clashes with Lok Sabha elections and elections are a priority. BCCI wants IPL to be held from 10/4/2009 to 24/5/2009 with some change in dates. Some mention Avery Brundage who when terrorists killed Israeli athletes in Munich Olympics in 1972 said “The show must go on.” Chidambaram says we are not in Munich in 1972 we are in India in 2009. Many feel cricket is not necessary. Life can go on without cricket. BCCI is worried because of financial losses.

Most countries hold elections on a single day. Elections used to be two phase affairs in India for a long time. In recent years Election Commission has increased the number of phases. There is no justification for such a schedule. Elections should be on a single day or if security demands in two phases. Elections can be postponed. In 1991 elections to 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab which were due to take place on 22/6/1992 were postponed to 25/9/2005 and later cancelled. However IPL can not be the reason for postponing or cancellation of elections.

Targetting cricketers happened for the first time. During IPL cricketers can be targetted. If that happens many countries will refuse to play in India. Sri Lanka had gone to Pakistan because India had cancelled its tour. Some countries had stopped playing in Pakistan. If even one cricketer is targetted during IPL it can have far reaching consequences. Countries can refuse to play in India and hosting of World Cup 2011 can be taken away from India. There are questions about holding World Cup 2011 matches in Pakistan.

IPL can not be compared to Munich Olympics. IPL is yet to begin. Munich Olympics was already in progress. Athletes were representing their countries at Olympics. It was once in four years opportunity. The games were held at one place for Munich Olympics. IPL is held in different cities and teams have to travel. IPL is a private tournament. BCCI does not need government permission to hold IPL. Government is not bound to provide security to IPL. If IPL can provide security to teams it can go ahead with the tournament.

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