South Africa set to host Indian Premier League

Johannesburg, March 24:

South Africa will host the Indian Premier League (IPL) during April and May, it was confirmed at a press conference here on Tuesday.

The decision follows days of frenetic speculation over whether South Africa or England would earn the right to host the second edition of a dazzling show featuring the international stars of cricket. South Africa was chosen even before IPL commissioner Lalit Modi held talks with officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board in London, scheduled for Wednesday.

Modi and Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola told media at Wanderers Club here that the Twenty20 tournament would be staged from April 18 into May.

A tournament that attracts most of the biggest names in the game is being moved from India because the dates clash with general elections and there would be insufficient security for the cricket event.

Bollywood stars and Indian industrialists own the IPL teams and cricketers are ‘bought’ at an auction for a tournament designed to feed the enormous Indian appetite for their favourite sport. South Africa beat England to the hosting rights because of several factors, including weather, finances, TV rights and the speedy issuing of more than 1,000 visas.