Where: New Delhi, India
March 24, 2009 : The second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will now be held in South Africa. IPL is a creation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It is a Twenty20 cricket competition, in which each team plays just 20 overs in a game, and each innings takes around 75 minutes to play. The second season was to have been held at different locations in India, just like the first, hugely successful one last year.
The attacks on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Pakistan, early in March 2009 led to fears about the safety of foreign cricketers visiting Pakistan’s neighbour, India. Each of the eight IPL teams has high profile players from different cricketing nations. The organisers wanted to provide the additional security they requested. This would require large numbers of security forces, as the tournament is played at a number of venues over several weeks.
General Elections in India are scheduled for the same time as IPL 2, and the central government said its security forces would already be fully engaged. Both England and South Africa were considered as possible venues, but England was soon ruled out, mainly because of weather conditions. The IPL 2 will now begin on April 18, 2009, in Cape Town, South Africa. A total of 59 matches will be played at different venues.
The IPL teams, named for different cities or states in India, have huge fan followings. Every team offers combinations of Indian and foreign players. Adding to the appeal of IPL, some of the team owners are popular Indian film stars. All said, it is a completely Indian phenomenon, and it is uncertain if the tournament will have the same success abroad.