NEW DELHI: Cricket's lucrative Indian Premier League hung in the balance Monday as talks with the government on security matters failed to resolve match dates.
"There has been no decision," Indian cricket board secretary N. Srinivasan told reporters after a 90-minute meeting of senior IPL administrators with federal home ministry officials here.
"The home ministry conveyed its concerns and we also explained our views and the concerns of the various stakeholders. I don't want to say anything more."
Less than a month remains before the scheduled April 10 opening of the second season of the multi-million dollar Twenty20 league that features some of the world's leading cricketers.
The government last week rejected a revised IPL schedule on the grounds that it could not provide adequate security to the tournament because it overlapped with general elections.
The tournament is due to be held April 10 to May 24, while the parliamentary elections take place across the country in five phases from April 16 to May 13 with counting of votes on May 16.
The government wanted the 59-match schedule to be adjusted in such a way that states hosting games do not have to pull out security forces on election duty to guard the tournament.
In light of the attacks in Mumbai in November and on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan earlier this month, fears have been expressed that the IPL may also be a target for militants.
Another rejection of the schedule by the government is almost certain to lead to the tournament's cancellation this year since there is no other window for the six-week event in an overcrowded international cricket calendar.
The tournament cannot go beyond May 24 because players need time to prepare for the world Twenty20 championships starting in England on June 5.
Although the IPL has hired a private South African security firm to liaise with local authorities, police and paramilitary forces will still be required to protect the cricketers, officials and fans.