IPL is a sell-out in South Africa: Gaurav Kapur

May 18th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Gaurav Kapur, who is hosting after-match shows of the Indian Premier League (IPL), said that he was glad to see the Twenty20 matches being played to packed stadiums in South Africa.
“It was great to see that on a lot of occasions the tickets were sold out and the audience was not just Indians but scores of locals,” Gaurav said.

“Definitely the numbers there are less because a normal ground in South Africa can accommodate 14,000-20,000 people, while in India it is four times more. But the popularity is the same,” said Gaurav, who is a self-confessed cricket fan.

Gaurav said that even though the glamour quotient at this year’s tournament was less since the venue was changed, still Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty added spice to the show.

“Bollywood presence at the IPL this year is definitely low as compared to last year. But I think the only reason is the change of venue. However, the audience in South Africa were not disappointed and were extremely excited to see Shah Rukh and Shilpa,” Gaurav, who is back from South Africa, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

“Whenever there used to be a Kolkata Knight Riders’ match or a Rajasthan Royals’ match, people used to go mad with excitement.”

Shah Rukh is the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, while Shilpa is the co-owner of last season’s winner Rajasthan Royals. The inaugural edition of the IPL was held in India but the second version was shifted to South Africa as the dates clashed with the general elections in the country.

Gaurav will host the rest of the tournament from studios in Mumbai. The finals of the eight-team tournament will be played May 24.

Talking about his on-field experience, the former MTV VJ said: “My experience at the IPL was mixed. The games days were brilliant but the off days were boring since all I wanted was watch cricket all the time. No shopping, no sight seeing for me.”

Among the teams, Gaurav picks Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings as his favourites.

“I like the Chennai Super Kings. I got a chance to hang around with them a little. They are really nice as people and as players. I even like the way Deccan Chargers have done a complete turn around this year. In fact, it will be great to see Chennai and Deccan playing the final.”

The actor, whose last venture “Bad Luck Govind” failed at the box-office, is also focusing on a Pritish Nandi Communication film comedy called “Salunn”.

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