Shane Warne’s men to clash with SA T20 champs

Reigning Indian Premier League champions Rajasthan Royals will take on South African T20 winners Nashua Cape Cobras in two matches ahead of IPL’s second edition that kicks off in Cape Town on April 18.

The best-of-two encounter termed “Clash of Champions” and pitting the Twenty20 champions of India and South Africa, who are hosting the second edition of the cash-rich tournament, will be held on April 11 and 12, according to a media release.

Rajasthan Royals will make Cape Town their base during IPL season II, set to conclude on May 24, following a strategic partnership with the Nashua Cape Cobras and Western Province Cricket association, owners of Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town.

Both teams have also agreed to work together on future cricketing and sponsorship opportunities to further sporting links between India and South Africa.

In addition to the two matches, the partnership will also see the two teams embarking on players exchange to develop young talent and collaboration of the management teams to share best practices.

South Africa’s national team skipper and Rajasthan Royals team member Graeme Smith, felt that the clash between the domestic T20 champions of India and SA was a great curtain-raiser for IPL 2.

“I can’t wait to see the Royals in action at Sahara Park Newlands. It is great that the IPL is coming to South Africa, and the Clash of the Champions between the IPL Champions and the South African Standard Bank Pro 20 Champions is a great curtain raiser for the IPL 2009 season and an event not to be missed,” Smith said. Manoj Badale, Chairman and co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, expressed his happiness at the partnership.

“We are delighted to be working with the Nashua Cape Cobras at Sahara Park Newlands during our IPL tournament preparation. Its a great venue, and the Clash of the Champions over the Easter weekend will be an exciting contest.

“It is the first time the Royals have played since winning the IPL Tournament and it will be great to see the team back in action.

Andre Odendaal, CEO of Cape Cobras, commented, “We have been talking with the Royals extensively since their exciting victory in the inaugural IPL. We are thrilled to be hosting the Royals at home and the start of what we hope will be a long standing partnership.”

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