Times Of India
Be it his films or his IPL franchisee Knight Riders, SRK puts his mouth where his heart is. Like in this interview to BT hours after the Knight Riders scored their first points in IPL-II on Tuesday, after winning against Kings XI Punjab courtesy the Duckworth-Lewis method. The turning point in that match, feels SRK, was that the entire team got into the act. “Dada getting quick wickets, Ishant Sharma doing his bit, and then Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum coming out and batting like that, it was heartening to see the team supporting one another,” says SRK. But even as he states that the Knight Riders were “deserving winners”, he admits that the Knights are also “spirited losers”. “We were cold at the start of the tournament,” SRK says it as it is, when asked about the team’s dismal first performance against Team Hyderabad, “but the first few matches are all about team building and team strengthening, and we’re getting there.”
Over to the team. Is there additional pressure on the Knights to perform, considering the team has been mired in controversies from the start? “What everyone says need not always be true. We have a thought process behind our decisions, be it the multi-captain theory or the change of captain. We aren’t bothered by controversy, in fact, it brings us closer, binds us more, when the world puts us down, we find confidence and support in each other. We stick to what we believe in, we Knights are married to each other,” says the ever-positive Khan.
The Knights will play against last year’s champs Team Rajasthan today, tough match? “Each match is tough, because the pitches are unknown to us. But we’ll give Shane Warne and his team an entertaining fight!” promises SRK. But the Bollywood star has a peculiar dilemma — he was born in Delhi, works in Mumbai and owns a Kolkata franchisee — how does he balance his loyalties?
“Kolkata is my playground, Mumbai, my home. It just shows I’m a true Indian, a walking, talking epitome of being a true Indian!” he laughs. But despite being the owner of the team, SRK knows when to step back and let others do the talking.
“When it comes to cricket, I am also an outsider. I let those who know the game make the decisions. I don’t know if a decision is good or bad, but I will support it nonetheless. I treat my team like I treat my children, and fans should support us in good times and bad. It should be from the heart...” No wonder, then, that King Khan is their Knight in shining armour!