South Africa ready to host IPL
South Africa will enter into negotiations which could lead to the country staging the second season of the Indian Premier League, according to Cricket SA chief executive Gerald Majola.cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2009 15:11 IST
South Africa will enter into negotiations which could lead to the country staging the second season of the Indian Premier League, according to Cricket SA chief executive Gerald Majola.
Less than 24 hours after dismissing talk of hosting the IPL as 'rumours', Majola said an official approach had been made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Majola's statement came after it was reported from India that a BCCI working committee had decided the tournament would be held outside India.
An unnamed IPL official was quoted as saying the matches would take place in England or South Africa.
Majola said in a statement: "We received an official approach this morning to be one of several options they are considering to host the tournament outside India. We do not know what the other options are and it is not for us to comment on that.
"At this stage we are looking forward to holding discussions with IPL officials to discuss the proposal in detail.
"It is a huge compliment to Cricket South Africa's organisational skills, facilities and infrastructure that we are being asked to host another major international event," he added.
It was widely reported in South African newspapers on Sunday that grounds around the country had been put on standby to stage games. The 59 game IPL programme is due to be held between April 10 and May 29.
Safety has been a major worry after the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in November and an attack targeting the Sri Lankan cricket side in Pakistan this month that left eight people dead and eight people from the team wounded.
But the Indian government said it could not lay on additional security because of deployments for national elections being held at almost the exact time as the April 10-May 24 tournament.
"Due to the attitude of the government that it cannot provide security for the tournament, we are forced to take a decision to move the IPL out of India," the country's cricket chief Shashank Manohar told reporters.
"A final decision on the venue will be announced in two to three days."
The tournament, which pits star-studded teams against each other in the short-form Twenty20 format of the game, was eagerly awaited by millions of fans in India after its inaugural event last year proved a huge success.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said the 59 matches in the event would be scheduled so that they still fell at 4pm and 8pm in India, prime time for the massive cricket audience in this nation of more than one billion people.