Calcutta police have written to the Cricket Association of Bengal to postpone the first IPL match of the season at the Eden Gardens on May 14, citing the possibility of a repoll in some constituencies of the state on that day.
The match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians is one of four that Eden will host.
“May 14 is the repoll date. Holding a match that day would be risky because any post-poll violence in the districts could have repercussions in the city and we would need forces to tackle that,” said an officer at Lalbazar, the headquarters of city police.
Lalbazar’s letter states that police forces would be engaged in the election till late on May 12 and hence “would not be available” for the IPL briefing on May 13, sources said.
A copy of the letter to the CAB on Tuesday evening was marked to the district election officer of Calcutta North. An official of the Election Commission said a repoll, if required, would be announced on May 13 after the last round of voting the day before.
Subir Ganguly, joint secretary of the CAB, confirmed receiving Lalbazar’s letter but said it was “not possible” to reschedule the match just over a week before the toss. “Already all the online tickets have been sold,” he told Metro. “We are writing back to them now, categorically mentioning that, if required, they should arrange for private security as the CAB is ready to pay for it.”
Biswarup Dey, CAB treasurer, said: “On April 8, the sports department gave us the go-ahead to host all four IPL matches. On April 23, the home department told us that counting would be held at the adjacent Netaji Indoor Stadium....On May 1, we got a letter from Lalbazar asking us to close gates 11 and 12 for security reasons, and also to make sure no teams arrive before May 13. Now, all of a sudden, through a one-line letter, they say police won’t be able to provide security for the May 14 match.”