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Weather was deciding factor in choosing IPL venue: Modi

cricket Updated: Mar 25, 2009 12:06 IST

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South Africa will host the Indian Premier League (IPL) during April and May, it was confirmed on Tuesday. IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said both the ECB and BCCI recognised that there were logistical issues, including climate and permanent floodlights, which made South Africa a more practical choice in the timescale available.

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, probably at six venues.

"To move the event outside India has been one of the hardest decisions that the Board of Control for Cricket in India has had to take, but I'm equally confident that staging it in South Africa will be a major success," said Modi.

"We extend a huge gratitude to our friends at Cricket South Africa for agreeing to host the Indian Premier League in such a short time.

"I'm sure all South African cricket fans are looking forward to the spectacle of seeing the world's best players compete against each other in this tournament.

"The South African public loves Twenty2O cricket and CSA successfully hosted the inaugural World Twenty20.

A CSA source said the opening ceremony is slated for Cape Town and Centurion, Durban, East London, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth would be the other venues.

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.