From Mahatma Gandhi to Akon, IPL finale had it all

IANS
May 25, 2009 at 03:55am IST

Johannesburg: From Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajan to Akon's smash hits, the closing ceremony of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the New Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday night showcased the diverse cultures of South Africa and India.

Senegalese-born American singer Akon sang his popular number Smack That, while the fusion of the Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram bhajan with African drums created a magical aura at the Bulls Ring at the New Wanderers.

It was Brand India all over at 40,000 capacity stadium, where the Deccan Chargers lifting the IPL crown after a heart-stopping final against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

CELEBRATION: Deccan Chargers players raise the victory trophy after deating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.

From Jai Ho to Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram and Vande Mataram, the IPL closing ceremony gave South Africans a taste of Indian culture. The ceremony was better planned as compared to the inaugural, which was put together in a short span of time after the tournament was moved from India to South Africa.

Bollywood glam girl Katrina Kaif danced to the English version of Jai Ho of Slumdog Millionaire fame sung by the Pussycat Dolls, while the winner of Miss IPL Bollywood Dune Kossatz matched steps with Akon.

Jugglers took the centrestage and put on a jaw dropping performance as they literally juggled with fire, while a group of drummers rocked the New Wanderers with fire on their drum sticks.

British reggae musician Eddie Grant kept everyone on their toes with his popular tracks. Grant performed his anti-apartheid hit Gimme Hope Jo'anna and also Walking on Sunshine to bring down the curtain on the 37-day IPL extravaganza that has greatly strengthened ties between South Africa and India.

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