The Indian Premier League will not be the poorer by the absence of one or two of the world's top players, said Lalit Modi, the Twenty20 League's chairman, in response to the pull-out of Australia captain Ricky Ponting from this year's edition, to be held in April-May.
"The pulling out of one or two players will not affect the IPL, which is much bigger. The players are also chosen by the teams based on their FTP (Future Tours Programme of the International Cricket Council) commitments," said Modi in Mumbai on Friday.
"The IPL is structured around the FTP. It is designed in such a way that even while teams have a maximum of ten foreign players [on their rolls] only four can play at a time," Modi said, adding, despite foreign players coming in and going out they performed well last year.
Ponting, who is contracted with the Kolkata Knight Riders, wrote in his newspaper column that he will skip this year's IPL in order to focus on international commitments.
'My country comes first and there was no way I could give my all for Australia if I used the only two-week break we have to go and play in India,' Ponting wrote.
Modi said the IPL schedule is ready but he is waiting for the Election Commission's announcement of the Lok Sabha elections before making it public.
"As and when the Lok Sabha elections are to take place in a particular city we have to schedule the IPL matches in and around that election polling date," Modi said.
He also informed that Deccan Chargers will hold two of their seven home matches in Visakhapatnam, while the rest will be in Hyderabad.
On Pakistan pacer Mohammed Asif's one-year ban, imposed by the IPL's three-member Drug Tribunal, the League's chief said it is up to the individual cricket boards to act in such situations when they arise.
"Our rules govern our matches. If because of that there are implications elsewhere, it's for the other (cricket) boards to look into those. Our tribunal has banned Asif for one year," he emphasised.
Asif was banned for using a prohibited substance, Nandrolone, during the IPL's first season. He said it had gone into his system through the use of eye drops.