Indian Premier League 2009 April 11, 2009

IPL seek compromise in box row

The IPL is set to make its second major concession in a week, with executives close to a compromise with the South African provinces over the allocation of corporate suites. Indian officials had initially demanded control over the boxes, much to the chagrin of their South African hosts, but a series of meetings during the week have resulted in the IPL softening its stance considerably.

The dispute over corporate suites had prompted several South African newspapers to speculate that the IPL could be cancelled. That, though, appears unlikely, with officials from both countries eager to reach a compromise.

"We are close to resolving this," Andre Odendaal, the chief executive of Western Province, told Cricinfo. "The IPL had very high expectations initially, but after talking through the issues, they have been very understanding and reduced their request. The request now is very reasonable. This is about striking a balance between our own members, and making (IPL franchises) feel welcome.

"We are all facing a big challenge. We are hosting the biggest cricket tournament in the world in ten days time. There were always going to be certain issues, but I think all parties have done a good job of working through those so the tournament can go ahead."

Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA), was similarly confident that the dispute over corporate suites would be resolved.

"CSA will look to uphold the interest and rights of all stakeholders," Majola said in a statement. "Discussions are in the final stages of an amicable resolution for all parties concerned and CSA is confident that this matter will be settled soon.

Should Indian executives agree to fewer corporate suites, it would be the IPL's second major back down in a week. The IPL relaxed the prohibitive terms and conditions it had placed on non-rights holding media on Thursday, prompting major news agencies, including Reuters and Associated Press, to end their boycott of the tournament.

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo