Shah Rukh and Co to seek out new Bollywood starlet at IPL games

By Fakir Hassen

Cape Town, April 16 (IANS) Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty will be among those watching all the women attending the Indian Professional League games in South Africa over the next five weeks to find the newest Bollywood starlet.

The Indian Professional League has announced a Bollywood movie role for one lucky South African lass as it prepares to launch the five-week Twenty20 extravaganza here on Saturday with an inaugural double header.

The search for a young South African woman with the potential to take Bollywood by storm was announced here Thursday by IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi and Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta, all having stakes in the IPL teams.

The lucky South African IPL fan with star quality stands to win a role in a Bollywood movie, 50,000 rands in cash, a business class trip to India and other prizes in the 2009 tournament's Miss Bollywood SA competition.

"We're looking for someone who has the star quality to stand out in a crowd, probably without even trying that hard. It's that special, almost indefinable, quality that makes someone a star more than a beauty queen that we are looking for," Modi said.

"IPL matches with their mix of fun and excitement are an excellent environment to identify the kind of person who is a natural stand-out in a big crowd."

"Star searches like this are a really great way to find people who may never even have thought that they have what it takes to really make it big," Shah Rukh said.

"The heart of our idea is to search the crowd at IPL matches for someone who has the attitude and appearance that automatically draws the eye. It will be the kind of person who is not necessarily showing off for the camera, but who can mesmerise even total strangers," he said.

A total of 50 winners will be chosen from the crowds at every one of the eight venues around the country that are to host IPL matches. Winners will be shown on the big screen at every match during the second five-minute break.

There will be one finalist per match, identified with the help of TV producers who will have cameras scanning the crowds. IPL matches are being played in Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

One finalist from each venue will be chosen, leaving eight winners to be hosted and feted at The Wanderers in Johannesburg at the final of the IPL 2009 tournament on 24 May. The ultimate winner will be announced during the final.

IPL fans worldwide will also be able to cast their votes for the winner via the IPL website.

The IPL is also set to announce an eight-million rand educational project here on Friday.

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