Glitz, glamour planned for IPL closing ceremony

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pretoria- After five weeks of exhilarating cricket, the Indian Premier League (IPL) will draw to a close in an electrifying closing ceremony at Wanderers cricket stadium on Sunday.

"The closing ceremony is going to be spectacular," IPL media director Trevor Jones told BuaNews on Friday.

The two teams who will play in the final will only be known after the semi-final matches are complete. The Deccan Chargers will lock horns with the Dehli Daredevils tonight in Centurion while Chennai Super Kings will take on Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Wanderers on Saturday.

"The IPL has been an amazing spectacle that has surprised many in South Africa and the world. To host this tournament at short notice; the results were just amazing," he added.

The decision by the Indian Premier League to shift the IPL cricket tournament from India to South Africa was due to the holding of elections in that country and therefore the safety of cricket players could not be guaranteed during this time.

According to a detailed programme released on Friday, the line-up for the closing ceremony includes performances by world renowned music legend Eddy Grant and the American super-star Akon.

Eddy Grant will perform the ever popular Walking on sunshine and his anti-apartheid hit Gimme Hope Jo'anna.

Akon, who recently met with President Zuma, will perform his Grammy award songs accompanied by Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood actress and co-owner of the IPL team the Rajasthan Royals.

Adding Bollywood glamour will be actress Katrina Kaif, who together with a troupe of Indian and South African dancers will perform the well-known JAI HO which was the theme song for the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to attend the much anticipated final match and will address the stadium just before the game starts.

Other highlights on the night will include a piece featuring renowned percussionist Shivamani and a group of Indian and South African drummers.

Apart from the various musical acts, the crowd will also be introduced to the Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa finalists, culminating with the crowning of the winner of the beauty competition.

About 1 500 flying lanterns will be lit and released and a thrilling pyrotechnics show, using several thousand rounds of fireworks, will light up the Johannesburg skyline.

The glittering spectacle will end with a presentation ceremony for the winning cricket team.