Johannesburg: South Africa will host the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) next month after the Twenty20 (T20) cricket competition was moved out of India because of security reasons, IPL said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are very happy to confirm that South Africa will host the 2009 DLF Indian Premier League tournament,” IPL chairman Lalit Modi said in a statement following a meeting of the event’s organizers and Cricket South Africa (CSA).
England was also considered as a possible alternative for the competition, which will start on 18 April, but South Africa was chosen as the host nation after Modi met with CSA chief executive Gerald Majola. The tournament will be played at six venues.
Power play: IPL chief Lalit Modi (centre) at a news conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Denis Farrell / AP
“We would like to thank Cricket South Africa very much for the support they have given us over the past few days, which has helped us to come to this decision,” said Modi.
“The South African public loves T2O cricket and CSA successfully hosted the inaugural ICC World T20.”
“Both these factors weighed heavily in South Africa’s favour, and we look forward to a successful and exciting tournament being held at venues throughout South Africa,” Modi said in the news release.
Majola added, “The organizers can be assured that they have the full support of CSA’s structures and the South African public to stage a successful tournament.”
“This event will strengthen the ties even further between South African and Indian cricket, as well as binding our nations even closer together.”
The IPL tournament will feature 59 matches and the fixtures will be announced shortly.
South Africa beat England to the hosting rights because of several factors, including weather, finances, television rights and the speedy issuing of at least 1,000 visas.
Rain is less likely to affect matches in South Africa than England during the tournament period and with a dollar worth almost 10 rand it is an attractive option financially.
(‘AFP’ contributed to this story.)