Less than a month before its scheduled start, the second season of the Indian Premier League is still in danger of postponement. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has told the BCCI that it “may not be feasible to play matches as per the [re-]submitted schedule” owing to fears that sufficient security may not be available due to the requirement of the country’s central security forces to maintain order during the country’s upcoming elections.
This means, in all likelihood, that the IPL will have to reschedule for a second time (having already done so earlier this month), increasing the financial and political pressure which the tournament is under given the global economic situation and recent events in Pakistan.
If a big-name player withdraws from the IPL on security grounds, a chain reaction could start which would see the competition seriously devalued (and literally so in the case of sponsorship), so it is in everyone’s interests to get the security arrangements right. The fact that cricket is now seen as a target by some terrorist groups makes it likely that the safety of the subcontinent will be judged by many based on the security of the IPL’s 2009 season.