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IPL circus ready to hit Newlands

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owner Shahrukh Khan, said his franchise would endeavour to display an attitude that will attract Twenty20 fans in the million-dollar IPL tournament which gets under way in Cape Town on Saturday.

The Bollywood star addressed a media conference on Tuesday evening at a lavish Mother City hotel which was opened by Sol Kerzner recently.

"At the Kolkata Knight Riders we want to build a franchise that will show attitude in the way we play so that fans will like us," said Khan. "We want to entertain and if we lose we still don't want to look like losers.

"We will leave no stone unturned to enthral the fans. We know the fans will want us back."

Khan has been hogging the headlines in the media back in India over the past few days after he reacted to criticism by cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar, who had shot down the concept of multiple captains for the Riders.

The row came about after head coach, the Australian-born John Buchanan, had said he was considering a multi-captain concept, which allowed for three or four captains in a game.

Khan said the matter of the captaincy has not yet been finalised and the franchise will make a decision later this week.

The IPL's head honcho, Lalit Modi who accompanied Khan, said the organisation was also giving thought to increasing the number of franchises in future.

"It (an increase) may not happen next year but it could happen the year after," said Modi. "But there is an intention to increase the number of franchises going forward."

Modi said his organisation was also considering an IPL awards function after the event, although it may not necessarily be held in India or South Africa. The timing of the event, which would take in the usual best bat, best bowler, best fielder awards would depend on when there is a break for players, on the crammed international calendar.

Another interesting comment that Modi made was regarding the IPL Champions League. "We are thinking about playing the IPL Champions League in different countries," said Modi. "The idea is to stage the event around the world so that cricket countries can share the experience."

The eight IPL franchises are all expected to arrive in Cape Town by Wednesday and on Thursday the IPL circus will have a parade in the city centre.

An IPL statement issued on Tuesday informed that there will be "a major parade through the streets of central Cape Town. The parade will feature floats - one for each team and the IPL itself - and various teams of Cape Town Minstrels.

"Players and other celebrities will be on the floats."

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