Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers in IPL final

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Johannesburg - After five weeks of exhilarating cricket, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Deccan Chargers are to clash in the 59th and final match of the Indian Premier League.

The highly-anticipated final will take place at 4.30pm at the Liberty Life Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

South African cricketers Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Roelof van der Merwe and Herchelle Gibbs will be also be participating in the match.

An electrifying closing ceremony is expected to precede the final, with 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- winning 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 Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa model and actress Dune Kossatz. The 35-year-old was crowned on Saturday night.

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.

"The closing ceremony is going to be spectacular," IPL media director Trevor Jones said earlier this week.

"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.