IPL second season set for April 2009

Even before the start of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League, the organisers have announced that the second edition is tentatively scheduled between April 10 and May 29 next year.

According to the Future Tours Programme, Australia are slated to be touring South Africa in April, 2009, India are set to be in New Zealand, and West Indies in Bangladesh. India haven't toured New Zealand since early 2003 with their scheduled trip in 2007 put of because plans to prepare for the World Cup.

The announcement comes in the wake of comments from David Collier, the ECB chief executive, who said the board was planning to adapt their domestic Twenty20 Cup to attract more leading players and offer an alternative to the IPL.

"It is a question of finding periods of the year for this [the IPL] to take place," Collier had said. "We are one of the few countries who play in June, that is why our competitions are so successful because we can attract the best players in the world. That is why we believe that an English Premier League will be very successful including a broad range of cricketers."

Lalit Modi, the IPL Chairman, said the format of the tournament would remain unchanged in its second season. The eight franchisees will first play against one another in a league on home-and-away basis. The top four teams will then figure in the two semi-finals and a final.

The first edition of the IPL kicks off on April 18 in Bangalore and the final is scheduled for June 1. "The dates of the second season of the DLF Indian Premier League were decided at a meeting of the Governing Council of the DLF Indian Premier League held in Mumbai," said Modi. "I am confident of the inaugural season becoming a huge success and the second season will be even a bigger success."