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IPL2: England Vs South Africa?

iplIndian Premier League is now more of a battle between England and SouthAfrica, not on the cricket field but off it. Four Indian Officials from the BCCI including Mr. Lalit Modi are already in SouthAfrica talking to the officials at ECB(England Cricket Board) and CSA (Cricket South Africa) for hosting the event in their respective countries.

As I write this post there are plans being sketched out by these officials to ensure that the matches are on schedule and live up to the expectations of the fans. Earlier, in a press conference hosted by BCCI (in India), Mr. Lalit Modi confirmed moving the IPL season 2 to either England or South Africa after 40 re-worked schedules were rejected by the Indian Home Ministry over Lok sabha elections commencing shortly.

The tournament will begin on April 10 and conclude on May 24, as scheduled earlier. Sources told TOI England was the first choice. With England Cricket Board CEO Giles Clarke saying ECB was willing to host IPL, ‘‘it’s 99.99% England,’’ a top BCCI official said. Courtesy : IPL-T20 (Official Website)

Apart from ensuring that Indian fans would still be able to watch the event on prime time TV, England would also offer the advantage of the sizable Indian population settled in England providing a ready made audience at the stadiums. Besides, it would provide perfect practice for the T20 World Cup, The Indian camp has already suggested hosting the IPL matches in London allowing the team to practice on these grounds and will getting used the conditions. India will be defending their world title with 11 other teams in the T20 world cup scheduled to be held in England starting June 6 2009.

Both venues have their plus and minus points, but England appears to be emerging as the country of choice even though IPL commissioner Lalit Modi is reportedly inclined more towards South Africa, whose cricket board chief Gerald Majola he shares a close rapport with.

For England
– Large Indian Population settled in England will fill up venues.
– No problem in getting matches to start at Indian prime time (4pm & 8pm IST)
– Perfect practice for T20 World Cup (starting June 6 in England, 2 weeks after IPL)
– Venues within driving distances, will cut costs for organizers and suit fans
– Cheap and good air connectivity from India

Against England
– Higher hotel costs
– ECB could face opposition from Sky TV as IPL will clash with England-WI series, for which Sky has exclusive telecast rights.
-Cold Weather conditions. Most Cricket matches in England are hosted in the summer which is generally called as the ‘English Summer’, The weather in England in unpredictable during the winter.

For South Africa
– Venues and hotels will cost less
– Warmer weather will suit more players
– Timings not a problem

Against South Africa
– Travel from India and between venues costly and tiring
– Filling up stadiums could be difficult. BCCI would also keep in mind that a larger Indian turnout was seen during the last years T20 World cup in SA, venues like Durban, Johannesburg have already registered record number of spectators during Indian matches.

The Franchisees

The franchises will now need to gobble up more money, about 20-25 % more for expenses but the franchisees hope of making more money out of it this time given that there will be a larger Indian Audience glued to their television sets across the country. The Franchisees each earned about rs. 27 Crore from the television right alone in the last season which is expected to double with the tournament moving out of India.

Given that the T20 World cup is just round the corner in England, The chips seem to be going towards England. A News paper Story also indicates the Tournament being Hosted in SA as r. Lalit Modi opted to fly to SA before England. Lalit Modi also shares a good raport with CSA’s CEO. Reports on Monday night suggested that Cricket South Africa was willing to walk the extra mile to make the event a success and had also assured the BCCI of government support to make that happen. “We still feel that South Africa is a better bet for the IPL when it comes to weather, TV timings and logistics,” a South African official said. Hopefully we will hear an official announcemnet soon.

IPL Season 2 promises to be a better and a bigger affair that what faired up the last time. With more international players added to the already full bag of experienced international and national players expect a tournament full of  excitement and entertainment.

Join me for full coverage of the IPL 2 story soon.

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sreesanth_cryingPS:The Drama will be less this time as Kings XI Punjab announced the absence of S Sreesanth due to a shoulder injury for which he is currently undergoing a surgery in Australia 😛

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  1. March 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm
  2. March 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm
  3. April 15, 2009 at 10:28 am

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