IPL may return to India after first leg in UAE

The Indian Premier League is not going to Bangladesh after the central government acted upon the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) request to hold matches in those cities where polling for the general elections would be over by the end of April.

Several sources in the Board confirmed to mid-day yesterday that the IPL is set to return to India at the conclusion of the first leg of 20 matches which will take place in the United Arab Emirates, starting April 16. Earlier, the BCCI had kept Bangladesh as an option to hold IPL matches form May 1 to May 12 (the last date of polling) before moving the tournament to India.

As far as Mumbai, the home of defending champions Mumbai Indians is concerned, the government of Maharashtra is ready to host matches from May 2 to 12 and then between May 20 to June 1. There will be no matches across the country on counting day (May 16). Yesterday, Mumbai Police officials had a meeting with Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Joint Secretary Nitin Dalal to discuss security arrangements.

Two slots
"We have been given two slots from May 2 to 12 and then May 20 to June 1 to hold IPL matches in Mumbai. We have forwarded these dates to the BCCI. We are waiting for the Board's directive to confirm the exact dates of matches in Mumbai and then we shall have a meeting with the police to discuss security arrangements in greater detail," Dalal told mid-day.

A BCCI source said: "Approximately seven IPL matches will be played in Mumbai including an IPL play-off match and the final. A final itinerary would be prepared soon. Definitely, we can hold matches in India from May 1."

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