Lalit Modi thanks South Africans for making IPL a grand success (Lead)

May 25th, 2009 - 2:59 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, May 25 (IANS) Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi has thanked the people of South Africa for their overwhelming support for the tournament and making it a grand success on foreign soil.
“The fact is that IPL-2 was a success because of the people of South Africa. The TV ratings proved it. The ratings of this year’s IPL were higher than last year’s despite the general elections (in India),” Modi said while speaking at the closing ceremony of the tournament at the New Wanderers here Sunday night.

“I am grateful to so many people. I also want to assure the Indian fans that we will be back next year,” he said.

Spurred by the success of the second edition of the IPL, Modi also said the league will be expanded to 10 teams in 2011.

Modi said the IPL will be back in India next year and the cramped International Cricket Council (ICC) schedule does not leave any room for the possibility of a second IPL in a calendar year in 2010.

“We have been missing India but we have made a strong fan base in South Africa. We have a tight schedule next year. We will have two more teams in the league,” said Modi.

Modi, who is also the vice president of the Indian cricket board, said that organising the IPL in South Africa was a great experience.

“We had a great time in South Africa. Everything was perfect. I am satisfied with the way the tournament was successfully conducted here at such a short time,” he said.

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