Durban should host IPL final says Pollock
Former Proteas allrounder Shaun Pollock has welcomed the news that the Indian Professional League will play the second staging of the tournament in South Africa, but criticised the decision that teams will not be based in specific centres.
"T20 has taken off in South Africa, and the tournament will certainly raise the profile of the sport here, but our fans may struggle initially to identify with teams. In that respect, it would have been better to have franchises based in particular cities to give people time to get to know 'their' team," he said.
"It will also mean, with 25 players per franchise, that guys will lead a nomadic life on the road, unable to leave their stuff at their base camp," Pollock said.
The commissioner of the IPL, Lalit Modi, announced on Tuesday that six venues - still to be announced - would be used for the tournament, which will feature eight franchises.
He said that discussion over whether to base teams in particular venues had been "difficult and delicate", and that it had finally been decided not to do so.
An Indian journalist covering the event said that part of the problem lay with the fact that "all the franchises want to play in Durban" because of the strong Indian support in the city. The chief executive of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, Cassim Docrat, agreed.
"I've heard very much the same thing, so perhaps to avoid dissent and unhappiness the decision has been made to rotate teams equally between all the venues," he said.
Pollock, who is serving as an "adviser" to the Mumbai Indians' franchise, said that the reduction of the tournament from six to five weeks would make it even tougher for the players, who would face a tough regime of playing and travelling.
Under the new schedule, 59 matches will be played in the five weeks.
The intensity of the action would also place pressure on practice facilities.
Docrat said this wouldn't be a problem in Durban, with the nearby Kingsmead Oval being used to supplement the normal nets at Kingsmead.
Pollock also suggested that Durban should be favoured to host a semifinal and the final.
"Durban is the only city in the country with the warm weather to make it feasible to hold matches that deep into winter," he said.
Modi said that details of the venues to be used, as well as the fixture list, would be revealed within the next two days.