The South African love affair with the shortest form of cricket truly blossomed during the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007—won, of course, by India. The format is ideal in a country where Test cricket is still regarded as the top form of the game by players, analysts and experts, but largely ignored by the mass market. Even the recent thrilling Test series against Australia could not ensure a full house every day.
In contrast, within a week of the first tranche of tickets for the IPL (games until the end of April) going on sale, the opening round of double-headers was sold out. Nyaniso Sam, one of the South African organisers for the IPL, said of the sales, "It's been beyond expectations". Apart from price and simplicity, a sporting culture and promotional success might be added to the list of reasons why locals are flocking to the IPL. South African football fans are used to buying tickets at the gate, whereas there is a greater culture of pre-booking tickets among cricket lovers.