IPL has revived South African economy: President Zuma

May 25th, 2009 - 2:37 am ICT by IANS  

Shilpa Shetty Johannesburg, May 25 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma Sunday thanked the Indian Premier League (IPL) for reviving the country’s economy ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Twenty20 tournament, which concluded Sunday, was shifted to South Africa after it overlapped with the general elections in India.

“The month-long IPL has revived the country’s economy. It has boosted the South African economy by 1 billion rand with the number of hotel rooms booked and the number of flights that were added. It has given a fillip to South African tourism.

“The IPL was a great advertisement for next month’s Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” Zuma said in his speech at the IPL’s closing ceremony.

“We will be happy to organise it again if the need arises in the future.”

Zuma, the leader of the African National Congress, said the IPL has become quite popular in the rainbow country during the 37-day tournament.

“The tournament has become a household name in a very short time. People are aware of all eight teams that participated. It is a favourite here now. It brought cities to a halt during the matches,” Zuma said.

“It was a very difficult job for us to prepare everything at such short notice, including eight stadiums. I thank the organisers for a wonderful job. I also appreciate the presence of the Bollywood stars like Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty.”

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