First played at county level in England during 2003, Twenty20 is the latest version of the ancient English game of cricket. An innings consists of 20 overs and bowlers can only bowl a maximum of four overs each. The action packed game lasts three hours and is shorter than a baseball game.
Fears for the safety of players in India has presented cricket fans in South Africa with a golden opportunity. The second series of the Indian Premier League Cricket tournament will be played in SA from 18 April – 23 May 2009 and the economy could be improved by a much needed R 100 million, according to economists. An estimated 400 players and Indian officials visiting SA for five weeks will inject about R 12 million into hotel turnover, and that’s not counting the numerous fans who will travel from India to support their teams. Around 30 000 hotel rooms will be occupied during the 59 matches while domestic flight between the host cities will probably be overbooked. South Africa will be one of the few countries where tourism is not in the doldrums in 2009.
Together with the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup which kicks off in SA in mid-June this year, the IPL Cricket constitutes a fantastic dress rehearsal for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. It gives South Africans an opportunity to test the accommodation arrangements, airports, public transport as well as the often criticized safety and security aspects of hosting such large sports events. But IPL’s Lalit Modi said that the Indians had complete confidence in the security situation in SA. England was considered as a possible venue but its unpredictable weather made South Africa the obvious choice. The SA public loves cricket and SA hosted the first Pro20 World Cup successfully, which counted in South Africa’s favor.
The matches in SA will be spread over six venues countrywide with the opening match scheduled for Newlands in Cape Town. Ticket prices will be extremely affordable with the most expensive tickets costing around R 220.
All said this tournament promises to be a cricket bonanza for local and international fans alike.
Opinion by Robert Wilson
CEO, http://www.MagicMarketing.co.za & http://www.TravelinSouthAfrica.net
Specialist Tour and Transport Operators, Johannesburg, South Africa
Robert has been in the Advertising and Marketing industry since 1882. He owned an advertising agency and then, for a new challenge, began a bus company in Johannesburg.
He now consults and promotes tourism to South Africa.
Robert has an MBA in Marketing from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.