Talks on about IPL in South Africa

March 22nd, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, March 22 (IANS) The presidents of the 11 provincial cricket unions in South Africa have unanimously agreed to hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 series in the country because of security concerns in India, the Afrikaans weekly Rapport said here Sunday.

Despite repeated denials by Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola that BCCI or IPL authorities had approached it, Rapport said it had learnt that CSA had been asked to rescue the IPL at the eleventh hour.

Mtutulezi Nyoka, CSA president, referred Rapport to Majola, who told the weekly: “I don’t know where these rumours originated.” However, the newspaper said the approach had been so sudden that Nyoka had to seek permission from the eleven provincial bosses telephonically, as there was no time to arrange a teleconference of all of them.

The provincial heads are all believed to have agreed to host the IPL, provided some conditions to be set by CSA are agreed to. There was reportedly also a demand that all the provincial cricket unions host matches, which means that a dozen South African cities could play host to the IPL.

Nyoka is said to have told the provincial heads that CSA coffers could be significantly boosted by the IPL series.

The IPL, in which the world’s leading players participate in eight franchise teams from across India, has gained unprecedented attention since its debut last year, but continued security concerns in the wake of attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan March 3 and the Indian national elections during the proposed tournament dates this year have forced a review of the situation.

South Africa has already agreed to host the ICC Champions Trophy here after a postponement in the wake of violence in the originally scheduled host country Pakistan last year and concerns over the rainy season in the proposed new venue of Sri Lanka later this year.

Concerns over the IPL have been given added impetus by many of the international players, including 14 from South Africa, who have indicated that they would not travel to the subcontinent in the wake of the increasing terror attacks there.

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