Johannesburg will host IPL semi-final and final, after all

April 18th, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, April 18 (IANS) The second semi-final and the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg after all, following an agreement reached between the tournament organisers and the Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB) over the sharing of suites.

In the run-up to the 37-day tourney there were fears that the semi-final and the final would be moved out of Johannesburg due to the dispute between IPL and GCB, owners of the Wanderers, over the sharing of VIP suites.

IPL wanted the GCB to hand over all the suites while the local association was adamant that their suite holders had some contractual rights over them.

But GCB has reached an agreement with most of their suite holders, who are ready to release all their suites to the IPL to meet the increasing demands from Bollywood stars, leading Indian businessmen and politicians who are expected to attend the games.

“We are optimistically cautious that we can now host (IPL games) at the Wanderers,” GCB Chairman Barry Skjoldhammer told the Afrikaans daily Beeld Saturday.

“Most suite holders have agreed to the IPL compensation offer of free (preferential area) tickets and entertainment areas, but we still have to consult with other suite holders. We will negotiate individually with those suite holders who do not want to release their suites.

“The IPL has already indicated that this agreement is acceptable to them, but we will have to tie down an agreement by Sunday night,” he added.

The dispute between GCB and the IPL has been going on for several weeks after the IPL requested all 59 suites at Wanderers for the semis and the final of the IPL.

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