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S. Africa to host IPL
JOHANNESBURG, MAR 24 (Agencies):
Published on 25 Mar. 2009 1:17 AM IST
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South Africa was on Tuesday named as the host for the second edition of the Indian Premier League which has been shifted out of India because of security apprehensions. IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola announced the news formally in a press conference in Johannesburg. The decision to hold the lucrative Twenty20 tournament was taken after a meeting between Modi and Majola at an undisclosed venue. South Africa was chosen even before IPL commissioner Modi held talks with officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board in London, scheduled for Wednesday. The tournament will be held between April 18 and May 24, a delay of about one week from the original schedule of April 10, 2009. Six venues have been identified for staging the eight-team tournament and the matches will start at 4 pm IST and 8 pm IST to make it convenient for Indian television viewers back home. . South Africa pipped England as the venue after the BCCI decided to shift the tournament outside India because of security issues in view of the general elections. England was initially tipped to be the front-runner but the wet weather there during April and May swayed the IPL officials to consider South Africa as the preferred venue. Another reason for England’s chances receding is the assurance from South Africa government and CSA officials that the tournament will receive full support. South Africa was considered to be a better option because the cost of running the tournament would be substantially less than in England and their domestic event would have concluded by the time IPL began, sources said. Johannesburg-based sports channel SuperSport hold the rights to IPL and international cricket in South Africa, clearing a huge hurdle. CSA sources told AFP another factor which favoured South Africa was government assurances that the 1, 000-plus visas required would be processed swiftly and the tournament would receive “red-carpet treatment”. Majola and Modi have developed a close personal relationship through various cricket projects, including the formation of the Twenty20 Champions League last year. With the IPL heading for South Africa, the country becomes the centre of the cricket world with Australia touring until April 17 and a 12-nation qualifying tournament for the 2011 World Cup starting next Wednesday. The International Cricket Council eight-nation Champions Trophy, the second biggest tournament after the World Cup, will also be held in South Africa during September and October.

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