Mumbai/Bangalore: Unwilling to take any chances, the Indian Premier League (IPL) authorities on Sunday shifted both the IPL semifinals to Navi Mumbai following Saturday’s twin blasts in Bangalore which was the original venue.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said in a statement that even though the IPL security agency found the blasts of low intensity, the authorities had no other way but to shift the matches to the DY Patil Stadium, which would also host the 25 April final.
“While reluctant to relocate the semifinals at such short notice, yesterday’s incidents have made it clear that the current environment in Bangalore prevents us from continuing with our original plans,” Modi said.
He said the incidents were assessed by local police and the IPL’s security agency as being of a minor nature but they have forced our hand.
“This decision is naturally disappointing for the people of Bangalore but has been taken with the tournament’s best interests, and the interests of its many varied stakeholders, in mind,” Modi said.
Accordingly, the DY Patil Stadium will host the semifinals on 21 and 22 April, the third place playoff match on 24 April and the final on 25 April .
“Despite this setback, we’re confident the semifinals and finals of DLF IPL 2010 will be successfully contested and provide a fitting finale to a remarkable tournament,” Modi added.
There were around 40,000 spectators inside the Chinnaswamy Stadium at the time of the blasts and security was beefed up before the game started.
Apart from the two blasts that delayed the start of the match by about 45 minutes, and in which 15 people sustained injuries, another bomb was found and defused at another place outside the stadium.
Another unexploded device was found near the stadium today and some explosive material was also recovered.
Earlier, the police commissioner Shankar Bidari had said in Bangalore that they would give the go ahead to hold other IPL matches in the city only after resolving various security issues.
“Permission to hold the rest of the matches will be given after carrying out thorough searches and making necessary arrangements,” Bidari told reporters in Bangalore.
Bidari said search operations this morning had led to recovery of some explosive material stuffed in a flex column and an unexploded bomb about 150 metres away from the stadium.
Meanwhile, some cricket fans went to the stadium and demanded refund of tickets for other matches.