Dale Steyn thrilled with South Africa hosting IPL

South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn is excited about the Indian Premier League coming to town and feels it will increase cricket’s popularity in a country where the game has to jostle for space with rugby and football.

“Imagine what this will do for the youngsters of my country,” Steyn said.

“When I was growing up, there were no World Cups in South Africa. I was excited just by the opportunity to watch Jonty Rhodes diving all over the place on television.

“Now the kids of South Africa have a chance to go down to their local grounds and watch the best players in the world playing each other. There is already a real buzz in the country after the Test series against Australia,” said the pacer who will turn out for Bangalore Royal Challengers.

With election dates clashing with the IPL, organisers had to shift the tournament out of India and yesterday South Africa was confirmed as venue for the Twenty20 league.

Steyn, though, was unsure whether the glitz and glamour that was part of the inaugural year could be replicated here at such short notice.

“It will be interesting to see what can be achieved at such short notice,” the 25-year-old told a cricket website.

“The reception was amazing last year. We were really treated like rock stars everywhere we went,” he said.

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