Things just don’t seem to be working out for IPL teams owned by Bollywood actors, a fact very noticeable in the 3rd edition of the Indian Premier League. Is it just a coincidence that all the 3 teams languishing at the bottom of the points table have Bollywood stars as owners/stake holders or are such teams jinxed? Sure, the stars have added glitz and glamour to the tournament. But they have not succeeded in ensuring positive results.
One cannot dismiss this as a one-off case which has occurred only in IPL-3. Shahrukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders has never been a contender for the top four slots in any IPL season. The deepening worry lines on his face when the team loses makes one feel sorry for him.
In the case of team Kings XI Punjab, actor Preity Zinta may have become a co-owner by virtue of being the beau of industrialist, Ness Wadia. In the first season of IPL, they ranked 2nd in the points table. In IPL-2, when there were rumours of a split between Preity and Ness, they slipped to 5th position. And in the current season, the official split seems to have affected the team’s morale and the results are there for all to see. The team is at the bottom of the score ladder notwithstanding Preity Zinta’s cheering and her dip in the holy Ganga at Hardwar.
The Rajasthan Royals, remember, won the cup in the 1st edition ; and then Shilpa Shetty (who suddenly was in the limelight due to the ‘Big Brother’ show ) purchased a stake along with business partner, Raj Kundra. Things have been going steadily downhill for the team since then. Last year they were at number 6 and as of now they are but one step away from the bottom.
Being brand ambassadors for teams is a better way of association with the IPL with no risk involved. This has worked out to the advantage of both, Bollywood stars as well as team owners. Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif have been ambassadors for Royal Challengers Bangalore. The actors have earned big bucks and the team also has done well.
And now, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are interested in owning a team. One wonders if they haven’t learnt from the experiences of their fellow-workers from the movie industry. Owning an IPL team, sitting in the dugout, helps in hogging the limelight; but surely, working in good movies is a better way of achieving this!
Author: Pratibha Shenoy (Basavanagudi, Bangalore).