IPL and South Africa defuse stadium suite row

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has reached a compromise with South African cricket provinces over the allocation of corporate suites, ending a row which threatened the tournament.

Indian officials originally demanded full control of hospitality boxes at every match to accommodate special guests as a non-negotiable requirement of host stadiums.

In return for surrendering boxes, suiteholders were promised free stand tickets, food and beverages for every IPL match at their stadium, but the offer was rejected with some threatening to lock their suites.

However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola said on Monday the parties have found a resolution.

“We’ve come to some sort of an agreement,” he confirmed. “We’re close to finalising the details and confident that everything is going to run smoothly.”

Majola declined to reveal full details, saying his body would do so in a statement to be released Tuesday.

It is believed the IPL softened its stance after reportedly telling suiteholders they would have to pay the tournament organisers R9 000 per person to rent their own suites during matches.

While the glitz-and-glamour Twenty20 tournament had full control of stadia for matches in India during the first edition last year, its demands have not been so readily accepted in South Africa.

Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg and Newlands in Cape Town proved major sticking points with corporate box owners threatening to lock them up rather than give them up.

The IPL is believed to have pressurised provincial unions by threatening to move matches to smaller venues willing to comply with their demands.

However, with the opening four matches at Newlands this Saturday and Sunday sold out, these were seen as hollow threats.

Organisers were forced to shift the eight-team tournament from India after their schedule clashed with national elections, meaning security for the event could not be assured.

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