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Asia

Indians in S. Africa Are Thrilled Over IPL Hosting

There's a mood of wild expectancy in South Africa following the decision of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to shift the tournament to the country.

India has decided to shift the Indian Premier League to South Africa due to security concerns

India has decided to shift the Indian Premier League to South Africa due to security concerns

The IPL would be staged in South Africa from the 18th of April to the end of May.

The move has especially delighted South Africa's 1.2 million people of Indian origin who are just as passionate about cricket as their brethren in India.

Cultural links

Although Indians in South Africa have been separated from mainland India for nearly 150 years - they still are very closely attached - culturally, religiously, and linguistically - to mother India.

In the city Durban - which has the largest concentration of people of Indian origin outside India - the people are overjoyed that the IPL will be held in South Africa this year, as a resident explains: "Besides the economic benefits for S. Africa it brings people together. Teams from India coming over here to play. You know it creates harmony amongst people."

The people are also eagerly looking forward to welcoming some of the Bollywood stars who are associated with some of the teams. They include Shah Rukh Khan - who is the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders; Shilpa Shetty - who is the co-owners of the Rajasthan Royals; and Preity Zinta - who is with the Kings X1 Punjab.

The other teams participating are the Chennai Super Kings, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, and Delhi Dare Devils.

Widespread enthusiasm

The CEO of Cricket in Durban, Cassim Docrat, who is also of Indian origin says the people of South Africa will give all the visitors a rousing and enthusiastic welcome. He says IPL officials have already arrived in the country to check out the logistics.

He says cricket lovers will flock to all the matches.

"In the case of the IPL teams - the eight franchises are fantastic teams which are going to be participating. And each team has number of overseas cricketers and I think that will definitely attract people. So it is going to be very competitive from that point of view."

The IPL being played in South Africa is the current favourite topic among most people. It even came up for discussion during a seminar on ‘India-Durban Business Summit’ that's currently being held in the city of Durban.

While there's widespread enthusiasm and excitement - many people also believe that the IPL in South Africa will not match the same kind of passion exhibited by cricket fans in India. The crowds at the stadiums will not be as large as those who flock to stadiums in India.

  • Date 26.03.2009
  • Author Subry Govender (Johannesburg) 26/03/09
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/LrtU
  • Date 26.03.2009
  • Author Subry Govender (Johannesburg) 26/03/09
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/LrtU