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Chalo South Africa

Everyone who is anyone is heading South Africa — Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, the IPL teams and their cheerleaders. While for some it’s about cricket, for others it’s about conquering their fears. Princy Jain and Debjeet Kundu tell more.

entertainment Updated: Apr 06, 2009 19:36 IST

Everyone who is anyone is heading South Africa — Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, the IPL teams and their cheerleaders. While for some it’s about cricket, for others it’s about conquering their fears.

Akshay Kumar is heading there for Fear Factor-II. Says the khiladi, “I love South Africa so much that I put a gun on my producers head and made them shoot the programme in the country.” Though Preity Zinta admits she’d miss the “whistles and loud cheering of the Punjabi crowd in Mohali” but is sure that the “sporting country will have an equally excited crowd.” Hrithik Roshan, who was there to shoot a TV commercial is back in India and describes his stay as “lovely as ever.”

In an interview to HT City, SRK admitted that he would miss dancing in Eden Garden, but at the same time is expecting a memorable cricket experience. “It’s a beautiful country, indeed a very sport-loving nation. I am sure IPL would be a thrilling experience.”

Shetty, whose Rajasthan IPL team has South African players, made a fleeting visit to the country as soon as the news of the venue came out. After attending a T20 match last week, Shilpa was mighty impressed by the huge cricket fan base. Praising the South African government, she says, “Kudos to the government and the cricket body who have welcomed us with open arms…

I am sure that the IPL will be hugely successful there.”

All cheered up
Its not just the stars who are heading to SA, IPL cheerleaders who were worried that the change in venue would mean a change in their fortunes, now have good news.

The six finalists of reality TV show Knights and Angels who are now the official cheerleaders of the Kolkata IPL team, are busy getting ready for foreign seas. “I just can’t describe in words how excited I am,” says Ritika Chhiber, one of the finalists. “This is the first time I’m getting an opportunity to travel outside the country, which is awesome,” adds Ananya Bera as Samyukta S adds, “It seems like a dream come true.” Though undecided, the cheerleaders for the Chennai IPL team may soon receive similar good news and start packing their bags.