IPL to be staged in South Africa

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The Independent Online

South Africa will host the second edition of the Indian Premier League next month after the Twenty20 competition was moved out of India due to security reasons, the IPL said in a statement today.

"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 organisers and Cricket South Africa (CSA).

England was also considered as an alternative venue 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.

"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.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) was forced to move the IPL abroad after it failed to get government clearance for security cover because the tournament, which was due to run from April 10 to May 24, clashed with the country's general elections.

The CSA's Majola said: "The organisers can be assured that they have the full support of CSA's structures and the South African public to stage a successful tournament.

"This is a great compliment to both CSA and our nation to be shown this confidence in our ability to hold one of the world's top sporting events at short notice.

"This event will strengthen the ties even further between South African and Indian cricket, as well as binding our nations even closer together," Majol added.

"We are looking forward to hosting some of the world's best cricketers, and we can assure them they will be provided with the very best facilities to show their skills."

The IPL tournament will feature 59 matches and the fixtures will be announced shortly.