Nobody has the passion and heart to buy a stake in Kolkata Knight Riders,” declares Shah Rukh Khan, defying the claim made by mystery blogger Fake IPL Player that the star had found investors for the team. To HT City’s request to comment on Fake IPL Player, SRK simply replies, “I don’t do fake.”
When he returned from South Africa almost two weeks ago, Shah Rukh had sounded dejected over KKR’s performance. But his passion for his team and the game seems to have become even stronger. “You don’t need just money to run KKR — we have our wonderful sponsors for that — what you need is love, and in that department I am the king,” he states.
Rumours that he wants to wash his hands of cricket are just that, he contends. “The pressure to perform is greater now, but when you see Deccan and Bangalore turn it around in a year… I’m sure so can we.” UK-based brand valuation firm Intangible Business, in collaboration with MTI Consulting, has declared KKR the richest IPL team valued at $22 million.
“The valuation makes me smile a bit, [but] it will make me happy when our team provides value to our supporters on the field and makes them proud to be with KKR,” says Shah Rukh. He has a special promise for kids: “I want to promise them again this year… that the KKR shirts will be smaller for them in 2010, but they will never feel small wearing them as supporters.”
As for the performance, he takes the entire responsibility upon himself. “We don’t hate failure enough,” says the man who has seldom failed as a star. “The blame should completely rest on my shoulders. It’s my duty to overcome this year’s performance… how, when, who… too many details for an interview… I don’t like being a loser and I’ll pragmatically and passionately turn this around. Inshallah.”
As of now, it’s back to being Rizwan Khan in Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan, and SRK calls it one of his most intricate roles so far. “It is an exercise in bringing technique and emotions together.”
Shilpa Shetty’s cricket team Rajasthan Royals may be bowled out of the ongoing Indian Premiere League in South Africa
but the glamorous actress is not packing her bags. She will join R&B sensation Akon, as he sings his Grammy award winning song “Smack That” at the closing ceremony of the IPL2 at the Wanderers on Sunday, May 24.
It is said that Katrina Kaif too will perform to the Oscar-winning number “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire composed by A.R. Rahman. She will perform with a troupe of dancers from Indian and South Africa, and choreographer Shiamak Davar is taking care of the moves.
IPL2 finale will also witness Caribbean music legend Eddy Grant performing his popular numbers “Walking on Sunshine” and “Gimme Hope Jo’anna.” Renowned percussionist Shivamani and a group of Indian and South African drummers will present a synchronised piece.
The Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa finalists will also be introduced to the audience at the IPL2 grand finale.
Ijaz Ahmed, the former Pakistan batsman, was freed on bail on Tuesday ahead of his trial for fraud charges. Ijaz was arrested in March for allegedly issuing false cheques to a client and he was relieved to get bail after spending six weeks in jail.
A case had been registered against Ijaz Ahmed for issuing two bogus cheques of Rs10m and Rs0.5m respectively to two local property dealersSenior lawyer Ashtar Ausaf has moved the bail application before the LHC on behalf of Ijaz.
“We will now follow the case as I am in the right and will fight until my name is cleared,” Ijaz told AFP. “The last three months have been nightmarish. The PCB was supportive as they believed my innocence and did not disturb my job [at the Pakistan cricket academy]. I am thankful to them for supporting me.”
Ijaz had pleaded his innocence and said he would take the accusers to court. He was arrested on March 26, but was taken to hospital after suffering a bout of asthma and breathing problems
Ijaz played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs and was a member of the Pakistan team that won the 1992 World Cup. Following his retirement from international cricket, he had been working as the fielding coach of the national team for the last few months. He was earlier on the selection committee and had also served as senior coach at the National Cricket Academy.
Shah Rukh Khan-promoted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has tied up with soft drinks major Coca Cola for sponsorship during the coming IPL, days after the actor was dumped by rival beverage player PepsiCo as its brand ambassador.
“We are happy to announce that we have tied up with Coca Cola for (a) sponsorship deal for the IPL, which will include using the company`s logo as well as promoting their brand,” KKR Director Joy Bhattacharya told reporters.
He said the contract is especially for the IPL season and Coca Cola`s sparkling drink brand `Sprite` would be promoted as part of the campaign.
Bhattacharya, however, refused to share any more details regarding the deal, including size of the contract.
Coca Cola refused to comment on the development.
Coke`s deal with KKR comes on the heels of PepsiCo terminating its contract with Khan, who was the longest serving brand ambassador for the company.
PepsiCo had, however, said it is “currently in discussions with him to take the relationship to a new phase”.
Yesterday,Shahrukh told media,”Pepsi removed me”.
The plotline begins when PepsiCo dumped its decade-old brand ambassador Khan from its Youngistan campaign last week. Coca-Cola moved in, offering to sponsor KKR, which would have ensured that Khan and his team members — including Sourav Ganguly, also dropped by PepsiCo in 2008, and Ishant Sharma, an existing PepsiCo ambassador — are seen endorsing Coke products.
Coca-Cola, which is planning to push its Sprite brand of clear-lemon drink through KKR, is close to signing a two-year deal with the IPL team, people close to the matter told ET. However, on Tuesday, PepsiCo approached KKR with a counter offer, upping the stakes. ET has learnt that a letter of intent has been signed between Coca-Cola and KKR.
Both parties are meeting on Wednesday to take up the matter. Khan had publicly expressed his unhappiness about the way PepsiCo terminated his contract. As first reported by ET on February 13, PepsiCo had decided not to renew his contract.
Coca-Cola’s sponsorship deal includes merchandise branding rights — T-shirts, jerseys, helmets, caps — in-stadia branding rights on perimeters and dug-outs, aligning with the team as a beverage partner, serving Coca-Cola beverages in home stadiums, and below-the-line and above-the-line promotions by KKR team players. KKR team members and Khan may also feature in Coca-Cola advertising specific to IPL. Every IPL team gets to play seven matches in home stadiums.
Summer is peak season for beverage companies and Sprite, according to a recent study by AC Nielsen, had dislodged brand Pepsi as the country’s second-largest aerated beverage. Neither Coca-Cola nor Pepsi chose to comment on the developments.
PepsiCo has already closed a deal with India Cements-owned Chennai Super Kings and is still in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai Indians. In IPL’s season one, Coca-Cola had walked away with the cup as its exclusive on-air sponsor.
PepsiCo’s five-year, Rs 50-crore deal with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the IPL’s pouring rights partner, on the other hand, had turned out to be a damp squib and was later called off.
Though financials of the expected deal could not be confirmed, it is learnt that the deal — KKR’s deal with one of the cola makers — will involve an upfront cash transaction and a brand activation component. This is Coca-Cola’s second sponsorship deal with an IPL team, Delhi Daredevils being the first. The beverage maker is also learnt to be in talks with Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia-owned Punjab Kings XI.
Did Shah Rukh Khan pay heed to numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani’s warnings? Or else, why did he feel compelled to remove the city name ‘Kolkata’ from his Knight Riders team’s logo?
And if this seems too much to swallow, even if you are not a die-hard Bengali fan, think about what it would take to drop The Great Bengal Tiger from the captaincy?
There is certainly more to this, than what meets the eye, especially if the Knight Riders’ coach, John Buchanan’s shocking revelation that Ganguly could be replaced with in-form McCullum is to be taken seriously.
So did the Badshah of Bollywood do this to try and turn his spate of bad luck, considering the fact that Jumaani clearly sounded off his (correct) prophesies on the same? In the first year of IPL, Jumaani had gone on record to say that Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t add up well, but sans ‘Kolkata’, just ‘Knight Riders’ added up to an auspicious number, as it totaled to the number 1 of the powerful Sun. Explaining further, Jumaani maintained that Sourav, a # 8, was far from lucky for SRK, as even in the past, this number has not been too good for the Badshah.
Says Jumaani, “On November 2, SRK had entered his 44th year, and 4+4 = 8, represents Saturn (Shani). Unfortunately, as predicted, it didn’t auger well for SRK what with his shoulder injury keeping him out of action for months and his Billu not faring well too at the BO. “We had, in fact, earlier warned him not to release Asoka on the 26th. He did, and the film bombed,” recalls the numerologist.
According to Jumaani, his association with # 8, Sourav Ganguly (08/07) who captained Knight Riders, wasn’t too fruitful. “In fact, right at the beginning, we had warned that the colour black used for their team jersey wasn’t auspicious as it is also the hue of the same Saturn, # 8, and generally a colour of mourning in many communities. In fact, another team sporting the same colour that has never ever made it in the big league, is New Zealand. It has, on so many occasions, despite playing well, not managed to win a major tournament, leave alone the World Cup.”
Now that SRK’s team is using only Knight Riders in its logo, Jumaani says, “Our next suggestion to the team would be to also change the black colour of its outfits. And Sourav should wear jersey No 24 (that we had recommended earlier too), which did him a world of good in the World Cup as he scored three centuries then, being the only player in any World Cup, along with Mark Waugh, to achieve this honour.”
But, what went wrong with Sourav and his coach once again? Having just recovered from the Greg Chappel spat, he is up again in a face-off with someone from his own camp! Informs Jumaani, “Born on 08/07/1972, Sourav is governed by # 8, Saturn (Shani), # 2, Moon and # 7, Neptune, and his zodiac sign is Cancer. Two others who have captained India successfully have also been Cancerians. And they are Sunil Gavaskar (10/07) and Dhoni (07/07). Hence, coach John Buchanan’s claim that he is not a good captain does not hold water, at least as per numerology, and also not to forget the fact that Sourav has been one of India’s most successful captains.”
He goes on to say, “The combination of such numbers makes Cancerians quite creative and unconventional in their approach. However, like their symbol of the crab, which never walks consistently, such people are subject to sudden upheavals too. They are also quite moody in nature, as the Moon affects their mind, just as it causes high and low tides in the oceans. In Sourav’s case, Saturn (# 8) often makes him misunderstood, and hence politics is not his cup of tea. Controversies usually surround the number 8s. Being a ‘Water’ sign as he is a Cancerian, Sourav had great difficulties with Greg Chappel earlier, who is a ‘Fire’ sign, being a Leo (07/08). Fire and Water can hardly stay together; no wonder then that John Buchanan is a Fire sign too, like all Arians (05/04/1953)! We know that Dada is currently in his 37th year and 3+7 = 1, of the Sun, and it is amongst his best numbers. Lakhs of people worship the mighty Sun. Sourav’s decision to retire gracefully from the Indian team had been timed well, in this sense. In fact, Dhoni won the best player internationally for ICC now when he’s in his 28th year, and 28=1.”
MUMBAI: Kingsmead in Durban will host 16 of the 59 DLF-IPL Season II matches to be held in South Africa from April 18 to May 24. The opening ceremony will be held in Newlands, Cape Town, on April 18, which will be followed by two opening matches between last year’s winner Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers, Bangalore and Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
These two games will feature South African captain Graeme Smith, Morne Morkel, Tyron Henderson (all Rajasthan Royals), Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn (all Royal Challengers, Bangalore), Jean-Paul Duminy (Mumbai Indians), Albie Morkel and Makhaya Ntini (Chennai Super Kings).
The other South Africans in the RCB squad are Dillon Du Preez and Roelof van der Merwe.
The opening ceremony will be held in Newlands, Cape Town Kingsmead in Durban will host 16 matches
Schedule: All times IST (GMT + 0530)
April 18: Opening ceremony followed by Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings (Newlands, Cape Town).
April 19: Kolkata Knight Riders v Deccan Chargers (Newlands, Cape Town); Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab (Newlands, Cape Town).
April 20: Royal Challengers v Chennai Super Kings (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth)
April 21: Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians (Kingsmead, Durban); Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab (Kingsmead, Durban).
April 22: Delhi Daredevils v Chennai Super Kings (Kingsmead, Durban); Royal Challengers v Deccan Chargers (Newlands, Cape Town).
April 23: Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
April 24: Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
April 25: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings (Newlands, Cape Town); Deccan Chargers v Mumbai Indians (Kingsmead, Durban).
April 26: Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab (Newlands, Cape Town); Royal Challengers v Delhi Daredevils (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
April 27: Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians (Newlands, Cape Town); Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers (Kingsmead, Durban).
April 28: Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
April 29: Mumbai Indians v Kings XI Punjab (Kingsmead, Durban); Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers (Kingsmead, Durban).
April 30: Delhi Daredevils v Deccan Chargers (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria); Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria);
May 1: Royal Challengers v Kings XI Punjab (Buffalo Park, East London); Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders (Kingsmead, Durban).
May 2: Rajasthan Royals v Deccan Chargers (Wanderers, Johannesburg); Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Daredevils (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
May 3: Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers (Kingsmead, Durban); Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders (Buffalo Park, East London).
May 4: Deccan Chargers v Chennai Super Kings (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
May 5: Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders (Kingsmead, Durban); Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals (Kingsmead, Durban).
May 6: Mumbai Indians v Deccan Chargers (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
May 7: Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria); Royal Challengers v Rajasthan Royals (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
May 8: Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians (Buffalo Park, East London).
May 9: Deccan Chargers v Kings XI Punjab (Outsurance Park, Bloemfontein); Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
May 10: Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils (Buffalo Park, East London); Royal Challengers v Mumbai Indians (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
May 11: Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals (Outsurance Park, Bloemfontein).
May 12: Royal Challengers vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria); Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
May 13: Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils (Kingsmead, Durban).
May 14: Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals (Kingsmead, Durban); Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers (Kingsmead, Durban).
May 15: Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Daredevils (De Beers Diamond, Oval, Kimberley).
May 16: Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians (Wanderers, Johannesburg); Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders (St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth).
May 17: Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils (De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley); Kings XI Punjab v Deccan Chargers (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
May 18: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
May 19: Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
May 20: Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab (Kingsmead, Durban); Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders (Kingsmead, Durban).
May 21: Deccan Chargers v Royal Challengers (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria); Mumbai Indians v Delhi Daredevils (Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria).
May 22: Semifinal 1 at Supersport Park, Centurion, Pretoria.
May 23: Semifinal 2 at Wanderers, Johannesburg.
May 24: Closing ceremony followed by final (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
Politics and the recession have hit Shah Rukh Khan’s plans for his Kolkata team in IPL Season 2 — his Pakistani players, Shoaib Akhtar and Salman Butt, cannot play in India; and he does not have enough extra cash to buy other top-rated players. However, SRK is always an optimist. “I hope Kolkata be the winner this time,” he said. “I also wish the Delhi team well,” he graciously added on Wednesday’s visit to the Capital to launch Tag Heuer’s Carrera Calibre 16. That’s not cricket! Later in the evening, SRK had a meeting with teammates John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly. “We have a good set-up,” he said. “We have Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, Ishant Sharma. It should be a good season — as long as all these guys play.” The absence of Akhtar and Butt will be keenly felt, though, especially as the embargo is a big financial burden. “I don’t know which board took this decision. They may have thought ‘Thodasa… achha nahi lagega’. But unfortunately, they [the IPL board] won’t allow the money meant for the Pakistani players to be utilised in buying new players. This is a little unfair.” It has made things difficult. “We don’t have much money left,” he said. “We couldn’t bid for expensive players like Kevin Pietersen. Their starting salaries are, like, 1.3 million dollars. We’ve already spent that.” His cheerleader talent hunt will, however, be big, SRK tells us. It will show people that “it’s not just about dancing with pom-poms” and that the girls totally “deserve respect” for their hard work.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has confirmed his place at the pinnacle of men’s tennis following a classic five-set victory over world No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of Australian Open 2009.
It was a battle worthy of a major final, and the world’s top two players put on a memorable performance before the Spaniard triumphed 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2 after four hours and 23 minutes on court.
It is the third time in the last four Grand Slam events that Nadal and Federer have played the championship match, and again it was Nadal who emerged triumphant, winning his first Australian Open title.
Despite vastly greater experience playing in the latter stages of the tournament at Melbourne Park, Federer began nervously, throwing in a double-fault and shanking two backhands to be broken immediately.
He quickly erased Nadal’s advantage in the next game, winning a torrid battle that featured several game and break points before tying scores at 1-1.
The two men seemed to settle into the contest from that point, trading service holds. This changed in the sixth game, however, when Federer cranked up his game and broke serve following two forehand winners, moving ahead 4-2.
Nadal returned the favour in the next game, playing two spectacular running winners to bring up break point before a Federer double fault got the match back on serve.
Games went on serve until the 11th game, in which Nadal produced a deft drop shot winner and forehand pass to go up 6-5. He served out the set in the next game after nearly an hour of play.
Games comfortably progressed on serve early in the second set until Federer had a chance to break in the fourth game. He would rue being unable to convert this opportunity – the Spaniard held serve and then subsequently broke thanks to a series of cracking backhand winners.
But instead of carrying on with his momentum, Nadal folded, gifting Federer the break back with a double fault and an error.
Federer lifted his intensity and found the range on his groundstrokes, winning four straight games to tie proceedings at one set apiece. The decisive break came in the eighth game, in which both players displayed superb shot-making before Federer finally converted his fifth break point.
Despite now being in the driver’s seat and winning the second set relatively comfortably, things weren’t all going the Swiss champion’s way. He was wasteful in converting break points, and his first serve percentage was languishing below 50 per cent.
The latter statistic was exposed when he found himself in trouble on serve in the sixth game of the third set. Despite facing break point, he hit out bravely from the baseline to level scores at 3-3.
The former was on show in the ninth and 11th games. Federer played sublime tennis to conjure up bundles of break points – six in all across the two games – but was unable to convert any.
It was Federer’s set to win, and his inability to take advantage of his chances would cost him dearly. The fact that Nadal twice had treatment for a cramping thigh during the set further highlighted a missed opportunity.
The set progressed to a tiebreak, with the Spaniard reaching three set points after playing a lovely angled volley to end a breathtaking point. He duly converted on his first to take a two-sets-to-one lead.
Holding in the opening game of the fourth, Federer took the upper hand by breaking in the next to lead 2-0. Nadal was not discouraged, breaking back immediately to put the pressure right back on his illustrious opponent.
But the effects of the Spaniard’s five-set marathon against Fernando Verdasco in Friday night’s semifinal were becoming visible. Federer noticed his opponent fatiguing, and in what would turn out to be an epic fifth game, he tested Nadal’s movement with several sneaky drop shots.
Nadal struggled to chase these down, but still managed to bring up five break points in a game that featured scintillating baseline rallies, all areas of the court utilised, and a whopping seven deuces. Like Federer earlier in the match, Nadal could not convert, allowing the Swiss to level at 3-3.
It proved a telling service hold – Federer went on to win the next three games against his increasingly deflated opponent to take the match into a fifth set.
But where you thought the No. 2 seed would use this momentum to stamp his authority on the match, Nadal mustered incredible mental and physical energy to gain a break in the fourth game.
Federer, somewhat bizarrely, went walkabout – his game descended into a mass of errors as Nadal continued to surge ahead.
Serving at 2-5 down, Federer committed an error and a double fault to find himself in a precarious position. Another error two points later brought up championship points for the Spaniard, which Federer saved after some tense rallying.
This merely delayed the inevitable, as Nadal clinched the title on his third match point after another error from the Swiss.
He collapsed to the court on his back, fatigued yet elated to capture his first major championship on hardcourt.
For the match, Federer won 174 points to Nadal’s 173
Nadal served at 63 per cent for the match; Federer’s first serve percentage was just 51
Federer had 71 winners and 64 unforced errors, while Nadal had 50 winners and 41 unforced errors
Nadal won 27 points to 16 in the final set, which was the shortest of the match at 33 minutes
Current Match on Rod Laver Arena
||Rod Laver Arena – Men’s Singles – Finals
||Rafael Nadal ESP (1)
||Roger Federer SUI (2)