IPL franchises fight over Durban
A conflict between the eight Indian Premier League franchises as to who would use Durban as its base led organisers to abandon plans to assign ‘home’ grounds to teams, South Africa’s cricket chief Gerald Majola has revealed.
The league was yesterday moved to the African country due to security concerns in India during national elections, and all the focus has now shifted to the logistics.
With the tournament rescheduled to start on April 18 instead of April 10, it leaves just over three weeks to put all the new plans in place with organisers already revealing only six venues will stage games.
That scales back on original plans for eight separate bases for the eight teams.
Several of them were desperate to land the Kingsmead venue, not least because of Durban’s Asian population, but Majola insists no single team will be playing there.
“Unfortunately each franchise playing in one city is not the case,” he told Talk Radio 702. “The Indians do not want that. This was our proposal to them that we have eight venues and each team can be hosted by one specific venue.
“As you know, these are Indian teams and apparently most of the franchise owners wanted Durban as their home, so this is a big fight among them. So we had to change the model so the teams travel together.
“The teams then won’t be hosted in one city. They’ll just come in and practise in some of the cities.”
The other venues are yet to be confirmed, but reports suggest Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London are all in the running.
Majola said the names will be unveiled shortly, adding that the new plan will see all eight teams move from city to city.
“As far as the tournament itself is concerned, we’re looking at example, Cape Town to start the event, so all eight teams will be in Cape Town,” he said.
“They will start there and then move from one venue to another one. You must understand that the IPL has been here for 24 hours only, today the teams are working on all the logistical issues and more will be revealed shortly.”
The CSA boss also reiterated that money was hardly a defining factor in the decision to host the tournament, but rather the fellowship of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
“We have looked at the logistical challenges and we are sure that we can host the tournament without hassle,” he said.
“As far as hosting an event like this, there has to be some financial benefits. But this was not on top of the agenda as the defining factor. The major issue was to assist our friends the BCCI.
Looking ahead to the tournament itself, he added: “We are extremely excited and ecstatic to be given the opportunity to host this event.
“I’m happy to say that we have a real team of expertise that has already hosted two World Cups. And that team now will be bolstered by a team from the IPL which on their own hosted a successful IPL tournament last year.
“We’re not saying it’s not a challenge, we know it’s going to be a massive challenge. We understand that the time is short, but we believe that we’ve got the infrastructure and resources to do it.
“As much as time is against us, we believe we will have a successful event.