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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Kolkata Knight Riders, Shah Rukh Khan and Some Points

To be honest, I am not a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan and most of his films, though there is no doubt, he is now one of the superstars of Bollywood cinema and has churned out a number of box office hits including few classics. However, I have great respect for Shah Rukh Khan for his struggle and hard working mentality which turned him from a lesser-known TV actor to a Bollywood superstar, even though he did not come from any filmy family background.

Well, now it seems that Shah Rukh Khan is putting all his efforts and hard-work to make his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders a mess. Here are some of those examples:

1. India’s most successful captain Sourav Ganguly has been stripped of Kolkata Knight Riders captaincy, prior to the second season of IPL. There is speculation that the decision of Ganguly being stripped of Kolkata captaincy came after Ganguly had turned down Shah Rukh’s request to talk to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, regarding the entertainment tax on the IPL matches held at the Eden Gardens.

2. There are reports out in the media suggest that Shah Rukh Khan is planning to move his Knight Riders team base from Kolkata to Ahmedabad, looking to avoid controversies like the one he faced when Ganguly was sacked as Kolkata captain.

3. The word Kolkata has been dropped from Kolkata Knight Riders merchandise this season. It has been reported that Kolkata Knight Riders is the most successful IPL franchise of last season in terms of revenue earned. In fact, KKR earned Rs 13 crore as profit in IPL 2008. However, Shah Rukh Khan this season is reportedly more focused on international market for selling KKR merchandise.

Kolkata fans have already revealed their fury at Ganguly being stripped of captaincy. Shah Rukh defended the protest, stating that the decision was taken for the sake of the team’s long term development. Well, I do not know how he wants to develop Kolkata team by taking away the captaincy from Ganguly. The way Ganguly was sacked as captain is a complete disrespect towards the former great of Indian cricket. Ganguly has huge experience to his credit and no body in the Kolkata Knight Riders has as much experience as Ganguly when it comes to captaincy or leadership. Moreover, as a leader Ganguly has the mental strength and toughness which is required when you are leading a team at the high level and this is very important when you are going into the next level of the competition

Moreover, Shah Rukh’s speculated plan to move the team base from Kolkata to Ahmedabad has already been criticized by the Kolkata people. No doubt, it would decrease the popularity of KKR in West Bengal as well as in Bangladesh where many people support KKR mainly because of their ethnic attachment with Kolkata.

Shah Rukh Khan is business savvy man who has a very good sense of marketing which I first experienced during the promotional period of his 2007 flick Om Shanti Om. However, it does not allow Mr. Khan to criticize former great Sunil Gavaskar on a cricketing matter. In fact, Shah Rukh showed no respect for Gavaskar saying that Mr. Gavaskar did not have enough knowledge about the twenty20 form of cricket which he did not participate in.

Similarly, Shah Rukh Khan showed disrespect to Ganguly by taking away the captaincy from him. Ganguly’s performance last season was not bad either. In fact, he was Kolkata’s leading run scorer in the tournament. Moreover, there was no problem with his leadership last season. Here, my point is that if Ganguly has the ability claim a regular place in Kolkata Knight Riders eleven, then what is the problem with his captaincy? Even some of the Indian players of KKR revealed their disappointment over the controversy regarding captaincy.

Shifting the base of the team to Ahmedabad, I think, will not work well for Shah Rukh Khan who is now trying to make Knight Riders a global brand, but I am not sure if Shah Rukh will be able to do so by dropping the name Kolkata from it. First of all, cricket as a game is not quietly popular in all corners of the world. Moreover, IPL 2009 competition has already shown that the big-money tournament does not have huge popularity outside India, and thus, shifting the team base may not bring out huge benefit for Shah Rukh Khan.

Shah Rukh Khan should know that cricket is a different ball game which has very little similarity with Bollywood industry. Criticizing Amitabh Bachchan in Bollywood is not same to showing disrespect to Gavaskar and Ganguly in cricket. Shah Rukh Khan should accept the fact that he does not have adequate knowledge about cricket and he should not involve into to team management. Rather, Mr. Khan should appoint someone to manage the team.

1 comment:

  1. abbas2:49 PM

    hi there Razib
    shaheuck khan is luved by millions around the globe
    and firstly can i say that king khan has bought this team with his own money so what he does and what desicions he makes are completly upto him
    he has many professionals working with him to know what they are doing.
    i fink u shudnt worry bwt what he does with his own team.