Dazzling fireworks lit up Cape Town sky to welcome IPL 2 (Lead)

April 19th, 2009 - 2:53 am ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, April 19 (IANS) The Indian Premier League (IPL) was welcomed to the South African shores with dazzling fireworks and sounds of traditional African drummers in a glittering opening ceremony at the Newlands here Saturday.
The opening ceremony showcased the vibrant culture of South Africa as Zulu dancers took the centrestage with a lively performance.

The eight teams lined up in the stadium as IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi declared the tournament open.

Modi thanked the South African government and Cricket South Africa (CSA) for extending all help to host the league in just four weeks after it was moved out of India following clash of dates with general elections and ensuing security logistics.

“I am proud that we have stretched our wings to a new territory. We are proud that we will leave the legacy behind in addition to the 9 million rands for education of South African children.

“We have connected the two rainbow countries. I have seen that nothing is impossible in this country. It took just four weeks for us to organise an tournament of this scale. I am grateful to the government and the CSA for all their support,” he said.

South African president Kgalema Motlante thanked the IPL for selecting the country for showcasing world’s cricketing talent.

“It shows the world’s confidence in South Africa in hosting the IPL, the Confederation Cup and most importantly the 2010 World Cup,” he said.

Modi assured the IPL fans back home that the tournament will return back next year.

“We haven’t forgotten you. IPL will be back in India soon,” he said.

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