The Indian Premier League's Twenty20 cricket tournament will be played in South Africa from April 18.
|IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, right, and Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola announce the move [GALLO/GETTY]
"The overwhelming reason we chose South Africa is primarily the weather,'' said IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who met with Cricket South Africachief executive Gerald Majola.
Modi also said South Africa had first-class facilities and excellent administration.
England and South Africa were the two candidates to host the lucrative event.
The tournament is being moved for security reasons because it clashes with general elections in India. In South Africa, elections are set for April 22.
"The decision to move the tournament outside India was one of the hardest decisions the board has taken,'' said Modi, noting that Indian fans were disappointed, but that TV coverage for them would include live broadcasts of key matches.
TV rules the day
Modi cited the time difference and broadcaster Supersport's agreement to show 12 hours of cricket daily during the tournament.
He said there would be games daily at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in India, which is just three hours ahead of South Africa.
Supersport holds the IPL rights and those for international cricket in South Africa, making broadcast more straightforward than in England.
"They're going to start promoting this week,'' Modi said. "The decision is also the right one for hundreds and millions of fans. Being in South Africa will enable our fans to watch the matches live on the TV screens in India.''
Majola said being chosen "is a great compliment to South Africa.''
"We look forward to hosting some of the world's best cricketers,'' Majola said.