Cape Town awaits IPL celebrity invasion
Cape Town is readying for the biggest celebrity influx of the year as
the off-field stars of the Indian Premier League (IPL) converge on the
As a popular holiday destination and film-shoot location, Cape Town
is no stranger to the rich and famous, but with the glamorous Twenty20
tournament due to start here Saturday, the city is set for a different
sort of invasion.
The eight teams in the Indian competition are owned by some of the
biggest Bollywood stars and richest people in the world, who will stay
at Cape Town's new five-star hotel, One and Only.
Officially opened by local hotelier Sol Kerzner just two weeks ago,
One and Only was built with celebrities in mind, and extravagant rooms
cost between 610 and 3,880 dollars per night in the low season. The IPL
task team are camped at the hotel as the tournament approaches, and
confirmed that celebrities were expected to arrive from Tuesday.
"All the franchise owners, Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Preity
Zinta, the Ambanis, will arrive today," organisers told AFP.
"The only exception is Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya, who will come
next week as he first wants to watch his Formula One team, Force India,
compete in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai."
Khan is one of Bollywood's biggest stars and owns the Kolkata Knight
Riders, while Shetty is co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals and a former
winner of Celebrity Big Brother.
Fellow actress Zinta is part-owner of the Kings XI Punjab franchise
and will jet in from Port Elizabeth where she has been watching the team
train and attending the fourth ODI between South Africa and Australia.
Business tycoon Mukesh Ambani is the head of the fourth-richest
family in the world, and owns the Mumbai Indians through his
conglomerate Reliance Industries.
If that weren't enough, the various wives and girlfriends (WAGS) of
the players due to compete in the IPL opening weekend will add extra
sparkle around Cape Town.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen will return to his homeland Thursday
with wife Jessica Taylor, a reality TV star who recently competed in the
English show Dancing On Ice.
Bollywood actress Lakshmi Rai is expected to spend some time in Cape
Town watching India's heartthrob captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with the
duo rumoured to be dating.
Celebrity watchers will hope Andrew Symonds' girlfriend Katie
Johnson, recently voted Australia's top WAG in an online poll, will add
some Australian flavour by following his exploits with the Deccan
And there's the local contingent, with Jacques Kallis' model partner
Shamone Jardim and actress Jeanne Kietzmann, girlfriend of Dale Steyn,
set to represent the host nation at gatherings set to dazzle South
Africa's fairest city. CAPE TOWN, AFP