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South Africa Wins Rights to Host IPL Games

March 24 2009 19:20 PST

The Second Season of the DLFIndian Premier League will be held in South Africa after narrowly edging out England to acquire rights to the games. The deal was finalized after IPL Chairman and CEO Lalit Modi met with Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola last night in Johannesburg. Where exactly in South Africa is yet to be determined, but with opening day a little more than three weeks away, that information should be revealed in the coming days. Lalit Modi, though disappointed that the games won't be held in India, is content with the games being held in South Africa.

"The South African public loves Twenty20 cricket and CSA successfully hosted the inaugural World Twenty20," Modi said. "Both these factors weighed heavily in South Africa's favor, and we look forward to a successful and exciting tournament being held at venues throughout South Africa."

What is known about the sites is that Cape Town will host the opening ceremonies which begin on April 18, eight days later than the original start date. 59 matches in all will take place in South Africa despite England seemingly having the inside track to the games. The dealbreaker came when IPL officials voiced concerns over the effect England's springtime weather might have on the tournament, which debunks the theory that weather was not going to play a role in the selection of the venue. England also faced issues in the form of cost, scheduling and the likelihood of conflict between television rights holders. South Africa's chances were further boosted after the country's government got actively involved in wooing the IPL, throwing in assurances on security and speedy clearance of visas for players and officials. That was enough to convince Modi to make South Africa the IPL's temporary home.

"A lot of factors were considered by us while evaluating the final choice for the host venue," N Srinivasan, secretary of the Indian board, said. "However, in the final analysis I think it was the South African weather, which prevailed and tilted the balance in favor of the Rainbow Nation."

While the Indian government has been livid about the change despite the security concerns that are exasperated by general elections, the IPL's decision to move to South Africa has been greeted with relief by the league's franchises and players. Muttiah Muralitharan, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, said it was the right decision for the league because "the game must go on, else cricket would die". Amrit Mathur, the chief operating officer of the Delhi franchise, said the team was happy that the issue has been settled.

"We are very happy and with the clarity on venues, we can proceed to make the necessary arrangements," Mathur said.

So what do you guys think about the Indian Premier League in South Africa? Do you think it is a good site for the games given the circumstances? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

IPL Graphic now in South Africa



Actress Priyanka Chopra Wins the Nielsen Box Office Award

March 24 2009 17:30 PST

Looks like the talented Miss Chopra is being recognized for her talent outside of India! Actress, Priyanka Chopra traveled all the way to Hong Kong for an award. The sexy star was attending The Asian Film Awards. This event which was launched in 2007 was a pioneer program that honored filmmakers and actors for their achievements in Asian film. The panel of judges who oversee the awards are made up of expert professionals in cinema and they are usually internationally recognized people.

The Asian Film Awards' goal is to present awards to the best of the best. The annual affair was a star studded, red carpet event that honored the greatest in the Asian Film industry. Priyanka Chopra looked simply dazzling in a white and pink sari. The other winners of the Asian Film Awards ceremony included Zhou Xun for Best Actress, 'Tokyo Sonata' for Best Picture, and Hirokazu Koreeda for Best Director.

According to Eric Mika, Vice President of Nielsen Media and Entertainment Group, "Priyanka Chopra is India's number one female star. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her outstanding work...It is truly amazing to acknowledge the breadth of her success, and we are honored to bestow the Nielsen Box Office Award on someone who has done so incredibly much in so little time."

So we want to know what our readers think about the win. Do you think that Priyanka Chopra is the best choice for an award? Can you think of another actress who is more deserving of such a high honor? Check out the pictures and also tell us what you think of Priyanka Chopra's choice of outfit. We look forward to reading the comments of all of our fans out there!

Priyanka Chopra at the HK asian awards.



Anil Kapoor to Star on Hit US TV Show '24'

March 24 2009 19:30 PST

In case you haven't heard yet, big time Bollywood star Anil Kapoor will be guest starring on one of the hottest American TV shows going today! Yes, Anil Kapoor will be alongside movie-turned-television star Kiefer Sutherland on an episode of '24.'

Anil Kapoor's role will be an Indian counter-terrorist cop.That's definitely a major change from his role as the game show host from the popular and Academy Award winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire.' Although this news is being widely rumored and reported, Anil Kapoor has played it cool and low-key, not wanting to divulge further details.

"It's too early to say something," said Kapoor. Negotiations are still going on.So, I can't confirm you anything at this stage. It's my agency in L.A. which is handing all that."

It is not known for how long Anil Kapoor will be on the popular US show. '24' is shown on Fox as well as 'American Idol' where we're currently seeing desi favorite Anoop Desai. Fox is definitely looking to add more desi to your prime time schedule.

"Anil would play Jack Bauer's counterpart in India. It's not known yet whether Anil will appear in just one episode of whether he'll be a recurring character. Either way the producers are very excited about having him onboard," said a source from the production house.

For those that aren't too familiar with '24' it is an American espionage crime thriller featuring Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as a cop who fights domestic and terrorist activities. It is one of the most successful thriller shows in history. Think of it as a new age 'Mission: Impossible.' Anil Kapoor definitely locked up quite the role. Hopefully he's around for more than just one episode.

So what do you guys think about Anil Kapoor getting some small screen shine?Do you think '24' is a great show for him to continue to showcase the talent we have seen from him for a long time? Will you watch the show when he comes on? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.



Bollywood Flair In Spring Fashion

March 24 2009 19:20 PST

Look at the Pussycat dolls flaunting the look in the video for the remix of "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)." Nicole Scherzinger and the rest of the Pussycat Dolls ran with the style that Desi Hits! hooked them up with, donning sarees for the opening of New York's Fashion Week. Celebrities are channeling India for the latest look. Recent hit "Slumdog Millionaire" is inspiring the style blend.Now the Desi infusion has taken to the stores. Showing affordable looks for the spring, the Today Show says, "Slumdog look like a Millionaire." They advise to be on the lookout for various embroideries, gems, and woven items.

Bangles have been a popular accessory for awhile, but the patterns and colors seen on this season's runway are really taking over. It's exotic but accessible and fun, an interaction between East and West fashion, a vivacious cocktail. Skinny jeans aren't the same when paired with a flirtatious embroidered top and sundresses aren't so plain in standout colors like orange and fuchsia. Liz Hurley looked stunning in a pink saree and Britney Spears danced in a lengha for part of her Circus tour.

It's not difficult to add an exciting twist to your outfit with some Bollywood flair. Simple styles take on zest with bright colors and invigorating prints. Pair a printed blouse with white jeans (a spring staple) and shoulder a slouchy bag for some Bollywood charm.

With Bollywood stars in Hollywood, Western celebrities in Bollywood, and collaborations between artists, the exchange between the two is dynamic. So are the mingling fashion tastes. Get ready to see where this culture exchange will take fashion next, maybe to your closet.

But in the meantime, what do you think of Bollywood fashion? Do you find it exciting that Desi culture is influencing Western fashion? We want to know if you will dress for the trend, tell us below.

Desi influence on Spring Fashion.

IPL Out of India for Season 2, England and South Africa Lobbying for Games

March 23 2009 18:05 PST

The DLF Indian Premier League will be moving all of their dates for this upcoming season outside of India for this second season. England and South Africa have already thrown their hats into the ring as likely destinations for the six week tournament which starts on April 10. In other words, for season two of the Indian Premier League, none of the games will be held in India. Security concerns, mostly the inability to secure enough manpower for the six week tourney is the cause.

This move was not an easy one for Indian Premier League owner Lalit Modi, who tried desperately to reschedule the event to coexist with general elections that are taking place in India during the same time span. When the proposals were rejected, he was left with one of two choices: move the IPL elsewhere or cancel the season.

As expected, Indian TV news outlets were not happy with the news. Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat and a member of India's main opposition party, said the decision was "a huge loss to the country. This will ruin India's image before the world."

"The government's decision means India is not a safe place for cricket and it cannot guarantee security," he said. "I want to ask the Central Government, if it can't ensure the security of 11 cricketers then how can it protect (1.1 billion) Indians?"

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa are now battling to win the rights to host the tournament. Weather is not believed to be a factor in the decision, contrary to other reports.

ECB chief executive David Collier confirmed that it was interested.

"We have opened up discussions with the BCCI and the IPL within the last 36 hours and we'll be continuing those discussions in the middle of this week," Collier told the British Press Association. While there has been no confirmation as of yet, England looks to have the early advantage over South Africa in the chase to host the games which generated over $2 billion in revenue and advertising last year.

The good news that comes from this is that the season will kick off as scheduled with no delays or rescheduled events.

"This is disappointing, given the huge anticipation and excitement that exists for the IPL in India, said Mr. Manoj Badale, Chairman of Rajasthan Royals. "However, if the choice is no tournament, or the tournament in another country, then we clearly prefer the latter."

So what do you guys think? Are you happy that the IPL will continue or are you upset that the tournament won't even be held in the country that it is named after? Drop us a comment.

Former 'Big Brother' Star Jade Goody Loses Her Battle with Cancer

March 23 2009 01:10 PST

Former UK Big Brother star Jade Goody lost her year long tragic battle with cervical cancer Sunday March 22. She was only 27 years old. Jade Goody was most known for her antics on the show 'Big Brother' and the racist remarks she supposedly made about Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. They managed to make up after the show and in a further gesture of apology, Goody made an appearance on the Indian version of the show called 'Big Boss.' Shilpa Shetty managed to travel to England almost a week ago to say one last good-bye to her friend.

The figure remained somewhat controversial up until her death. Jade Goody reportedly sold many pictures and interviews to magazines for money which many thought was in bad taste. According to Shilpa Shetty's ex-publicist Dale Bhagwagar, however, he felt "Her aim was to earn as much money as she could in the short span that she was going to live, even if it meant selling her interviews and pictures to the media. This she did to ensure that her two sons lived a comfortable life. Even Britain’s prime minister, James Gordon Brown, praised her for battling the cancer and caring for her children, even while she was in such a bad state." Although there were many reasons for people to not like Jade Goody, this wasn't one of them as it secured a future for her children.

Upon finding out that Jade Goody had passed, Shilpa Shetty said of her friend "I am deeply saddened by the news, but in hindsight glad that she is out of pain and passed away peacefully in her sleep. Words cannot express how I feel, but my heartfelt condolences to the family."

Jade Goody is survived by her two sons, Bobby, 5, and Freddie, 4. Her dying wish was to be baptised and to have her sons christened with her because, she said, “I need to be sure that when I’m gone, my kids have a way of being close to me.”

Desi Hits! also sends their condolences to Jade Goody's family especially her husband and children who survive her. May she finally find peace. If you'd like to send your condolences to Jade Goody's family, feel free to do so below.

Jade Goody Passes