25 Mar 2009

England cricket officials agree South Africa more practical for IPL

3:30 pm on 25 March 2009

English cricket chiefs hace conceded South Africa's a "more practical" choice to host the Indian Premier League after losing out in the race to stage the lucrative Twenty20 event.

The IPL has confirmed South Africa will host this year's tournament after being forced out of India after the Government said a clash of dates with the upcoming general election meant they couldn't provide the required security.

The IPL says the weather in South Africa during April and May was less likely to interrupt matches than in England and this was a key factor when it came to deciding where to relocate the tournament.

England officials say they realise there were logistical issues in brining the tournament to England, including climate and permanent floodlights, making South Africa a more practical choice.

Other factors which worked in South Africa's favour were television rights and a more favourable exchange rate between the US dollar and the rand.

Johannesburg-based sports channel SuperSport hold the rights to IPL and international cricket in South Africa, whereas the rights in England are split between rival satellite broadcasters Setanta and Sky.

And while the cricket season in South Africa will be coming to an end when the IPL starts, in England it would have run into the county programme and England's home Test series against the West Indies.