As Punjab Kings roped in Tamil Nadu youngster Shahrukh Khan – who was named after the Bollywood superstar – at the IPL 2021 Auction on Thursday, the social media went abuzz with people calling it a ‘reunion of sorts’ for the team’s co-owner Priety Zinta and the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
In the media interaction too, Zinta was asked whether she has had a chance to tell Khan about the Punjab Kings’ new recruit?
A smiling Zinta said: “No. I told Aryan (SRK’s son, who was present in the auction for KKR). It was kind of sweet. I am waiting to call him up and tell him that. I am getting a lot of messages from people, asking – ‘who is this Shah Rukh Khan?’ I am hoping that he shows on the ground who he is to everybody out there. We are excited to have him. So, let’s wait and watch.”
Shahrukh was snapped up by the Kings for a whopping Rs 5.25 crore for his big-hitting prowess that he displayed during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The 25-year old had a base price of Rs 20 lakh, but an intense bidding saw the Zinta co-owned team settling for him.
Named after the Bollywood icon on the suggestion of his mother’s cousin – who is a die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan – the batsman now wants to let the willow do the talking.
The re-branded Punjab outfit also bought Dawid Malan and Zinta was happy to have him on board. “He was on our list. He is a fantastic player and we are thrilled to have him. We got really, really lucky with him,” she said.
This being a mini auction, the teams made some smart buys. Asked about the approach on picking uncapped players, Zinta said: “There’s a lot of research that goes behind it. You literally have to pick players that fit your slots, all the weaknesses you had in the previous years, you try to make your strengths in the coming auction.”
“But yes, there is going to be a big auction next year, they’re going to be different rules for it so we don’t know yet… So we’re taking it as this particular season and see how things go.”
Despite being part of the IPL since 2008, a title has eluded the side and now with some smart buys, the team management hopes that there is a change in fortune.