Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IPL clash resolved, Comrades to go ahead

With the 2009 Indian Premier League programme finally resolved and the fact that Sahara Stadium Kingsmead will not host a semi-final, the Comrades Marathon will go ahead on the stipulated date of May 24.

The two semi-finals will be stage on the Reef - SuperSport Park will be the venue for the first semi-final on May 22 while the Wanderers will host the second semi-final and the final on May 23 and May 24 respectively.

However Durban's world famous cricket venue will host 16 matches of the 59-game programme which will take the eight-team event to places such as Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, East London, Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Pretoria.

Though KwaZulu-Natal would have loved to have staged a semi-final they are not unhappy as they have 16 plum games at their home.

Now that it has been confirmed there's no semi-final the issue surrounding the running of the 2009 Comrades Marathon has been resolved.

"We have come to an agreement with the Comrades Marathon Association that they can have Kingsmead from May 21 onwards for their building process for the finish of the 2009 Comrades," said Cassim Docrat, chief executive of KwaZulu-Natal Cricket who held a meeting with the CMA at the weekend.

Normally the CMA would take three weeks to set up the finish area but with the last IPL match at the home of cricket being staged on May 20, KwaZulu-Natal have decided to allow the CMA to take over the venue as soon as the final ball has been bowled.

Docrat said that in future Sahara Stadium would not be hired out for a three-week period ahead of the race.

Dave Dixon, chairman of CMA, did not respond to telephone calls after the agreement between his organisation and KwaZulu-Natal Cricket.

'We will have to follow the guidelines laid down by the event co-ordinator'
Meanwhile all eight chief executive officers of the venues staging the 2009 IPL have been called to a meeting in Johannesburg on Monday to discuss the way forward for the megabucks event which will inject a huge amount of money into the South African economy over the next five to six weeks.

The cost of staging a single game at any one of the stadia around the country is expected to be R300000-800000, according to officials and each union staging the event is likely to make R125000-200000 a game.

Docrat said: "We have been asked to go to Johannesburg where we will be told how the entire IPL event will be staged in this country. I believe we cannot, as a host union, do anything we want to do while the IPL is being staged here. We will have to follow the guidelines laid down by the event co-ordinator, IMG."

Docrat said each centre would have a co-ordinator posted to the eight venues.

[credit : http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=17&art_id=vn20090330121137693C885634]

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