But following talks with Cricket South Africa (CSA) IPL boss Lalit Modi opted for South Africa ultimately because of the favourable weather conditions.
The tournament will start a week later than planned, running from 18 April to 24 May.
The opening match will be played in Cape Town, while Johannesburg will stage the final, with Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London also venues for matches.
“We are very happy to confirm that South Africa will host the 2009 Indian Premier League tournament,” said Modi.
Ranjit Borthakur, vice chairman of the Rajasthan Royals
“The South African public loves Twenty20 cricket and CSA successfully hosted the inaugural ICC World Twenty20. Both these factors weighed heavily in South Africa’s favour.”
CSA chief executive Gerald Majola expressed his delight, saying: “This is a great compliment to both CSA and our nation to be shown this confidence in our ability to hold one of the world’s top sporting events at short notice.
“This event will strengthen the ties even further between South African and Indian cricket, as well as binding our nations even closer together.
“We are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s best cricketers, and we can assure them they will be provided with the very best facilities to show their skills. We will do the IPL proud.”
The unpredictable April weather was one of the reasons the IPL decided not to pursue its interest in moving the tournament to England.
There are other factors that render South Africa a more attractive option, including television timings – South Africa is closer to India in terms of time zones – while the cost of holding the tournament is reportedly cheaper in the African nation.
The TV rights issue in South Africa is also more straightforward, with Supersport holding the rights to the IPL as well as international cricket in the country.