IPL opener at Cape Town, final at Johannesburg

The opening match and final of the second edition of IPL, shifted overseas to South Africa, are to be held at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town and the Wanderers in Johannesburg respectively on April 18 and May 24.

The semi-finals are to be held on May 22 and 23 in Pretoria and Johannesburg respectively, as per the full schedule of the Twenty20 League.

In a double header on the first day, last year’s winners Rajasthan Royals would take on Royal Challengers, Bangalore, while Mumbai Indians would clash with first edition’s runners-up Chennai Super Kings at Cape Town.

In all, the 59 matches will be held in eight cities: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, East London, Kimberly, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

Kingsmead in Durban, which has a large number of South Asians, has been allotted the lion’s share of 16 matches while the Centurion Park in Pretoria would host 12 ties.

The Wanderers in Johannesburg and Newlands in Cape Town come next best with eight matches each, with the latter playing host to four of these on the first two days of the cash-rich, high-profile competition.

Seven matches are to be held in St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth while Buffalo Park in East London has been allotted four matches.

Two matches each have been handed over to Outsurance Oval in Bloemfontein and De Beers Oval in Kimberley. Matches would be held at 4 pm (12.30 pm local time) and 8 pm (4.30pm local time) IST.

There are a total of ten double headers (two matches back to back at the same venue) with Durban hosting half of these.

“We are going to have great cricket. We have got the top 100 players of the world participating in it. Now Wankel brothers, who played for the South African team for the first time are going to play against each other. One is playing for Chennai Superkings, the other is playing for Rajasthan royals. Then you have Peiterson facing Flintoff,” IPL commissioner Lalit Modi told Times Now channel.

“Its extremely important for us that the cricketing aspect in this is married with the entertainment aspect. We are going to provide some of the best entertainment ever provided,” Modi said.

“Our pricing policy is going to be very moderate. Our objective is we don’t want to come into tournaments and make it high-priced though we have got the best players in the world. It will be lower than CSA charging for their matches out here. It will be a little higher than what the domestic matches.

“Ticketing has been frozen now, we hope to have the tickets go on sale in next 48 hours. People should log on to iplt20.com and get the information from there,” he added.

“I think people are disappointed that they will not be able to go to the ground and watch but they are also excited that they can watch it on television,” Modi said.

“Sony has decided that for the first time they will show it in three languages – there is going to be a separate Bengali network this year showing the matches in Bengal,” he added.

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