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Progress expected on IPL VII puzzle

Calcutta: The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will meet in Bhubaneswar on Friday. There will, however, be no meeting of the governing council of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

As time is running out, the working committee is likely to empower/authorise the governing council to take a decision on the venue and dates for the first half of the IPL VII.

As reported by The Telegraph on February 23, South Africa seems the favoured destination for the first half of IPL VII, but the BCCI has also sought presentations from two others — Sri Lanka Cricket and the Emirates Cricket Board — for reasons of proximity.

However, because of the Sharjah issue and the perception that matches have been fixed there, the UAE may not be the preferred venue.

Till the other day, venues in the UAE were being “favoured” for the first half, largely owing to “logistical reasons.” But there has since been a rethink.

Three Boards, including Cricket South Africa, have been asked to make presentations. The first half has to be held overseas as the Union government has expressed its inability to provide adequate security as there will be a clash of dates with the general elections.

For the first half, a cut off of May 10-11 is expected to be announced. Things, though, will be clear only when the Election Commission announces the dates for the general elections.

South Africa has the best infrastructure to host an event of IPL’s magnitude. The controversies kept aside, they have the best grounds and the timing of the matches also suit the Indian TV viewers .

South Africa, it may be recalled, had hosted the entire IPL II, in 2009, owing to the general elections in India.