London: The British media regreted a missed opportunity and counted the losses the country’s cricketers would have to incur after the Indian Premier League organisers opted for South Africa to conduct the cash-rich Twenty20 event a week later than the scheduled start.
“IPL goes to sunny climes of South Africa,” read the headline of a column in ‘The Times’.
“Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, said the “overwhelming reason” for taking his refugee circus to South Africa was because of the weather. The IPL cheerleaders, in particular, will be relieved to perform their scantily clad gyrations in warmer climes than Old Trafford in April,” it added.
The newspaper said BCCI’s decision to opt for South Africa was a reflection of the bonhomie between the two boards.
“The decision by India to give the tournament to South Africa continues a love affair between the countries that blossomed 18 months ago when India won the inaugural World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, beating Pakistan by five runs. It could be argued that without that win and the enthusiasm it generated for that form of the game in a hitherto apathetic country, there would be no IPL,” it said.
The Daily Telegraph’ said “England players were the biggest losers when the Indian Premier League chose South Africa on Tuesday as its next venue, but the air of disappointment also blew through the county grounds.”
“But with the IPL having to delay the tournament by a week, it will now run from 18 April to 24 May, it has cut short the time Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen will play for their franchises.
“Both were signed for $1.55 million on the basis they would be available for three weeks and play in around half a dozen matches. Their salary, which is paid on a pro-rata basis, will be cut as they are likely to only appear in three or four matches.”
It also blamed the attitude of some of the counties, who were harping on the “negatives” even before a decision had been made on the issue.
“On Sunday many counties were highlighting the negatives, rather than the positives, about hosting the IPL and this has also shown that without Clarke and chief executive David Collier, who were both overseas until Tuesday, it is harder for the board to take quick, decisive action,” it said.
‘The Guardian’ said “IPL chairman Lalit Modi has sought to play the England and Wales Cricket Board and its South African counterpart against one another as possible hosts for the travelling circus of the Indian Premier League.”
“After taking the dramatic decision to take the IPL abroad after talks with the government over security breakdown, his public hints to a hungry global news media about its likely destination have prompted speculation to swing wildly back and forth,” it said.