Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IPL 2009 Shahrukh Khan: No Cricket, Just Business and Publicity!

(This entry was originally uploaded on May 2009.)

It seems to me that in IPL 2009, Shah Rukh Khan was determined from first not to do well and just focus on creating more controversy and media coverage for his team Kolkata Knight Riders. I have to say that he is very successful because although his team is in the last position at this moment, there is a lot of media coverage and discussion and even debate about him and his coach. So, Shah Rukh Khan may have failed to win matches but he could score some important wins as far as taking the attention of the people is possible. Of course, all of them did not go in his favor because he has suffered a lot of criticism from many people.

The first element of controversy started even before IPL started. First there was a theory of John Buchanan to have four captains. I do not know from where Buchanan got this theory and it is certainly very new and revolutionary idea but all revolutionary ideas are not very good and a lot of criticism came. This matter surely offended many people and even before any ball was bowled, it seemed that there was division between Buchanan and some players like Sourav Ganguly.

Sunil Gavaskar is one of the top players of cricket history and surely in Indian cricket, he is a legend. He has finished playing in international level I think nearly twenty years ago or more than twenty years ago but he is still very active in giving commentary and even sometimes being associated with BCCI and ICC. So, there is no doubt that he knows a lot about cricket than many people in India. At least he knows more about cricket than Shah Rukh Khan. However, Shah Rukh Khan created another controversy by stating that Sunil Gavaskar did not play Twenty20 cricket. So, Gavaskar did not understand anything about T20 version of the game. Shah Rukh Khan also challenged Sunil Gavaskar that if really Gavaskar knew a lot about T20 cricket then he should have bought a team and he should have implemented his own theory. This created a lot of bitter feeling and Shah Rukh Khan was later forced to apologize for his remark.

It seems that Shah Rukh Khan has a very good ally in John Buchanan who is his very good friend and who is always ready to help him with lending his hand when a debate is needed to create. The next thing came before first match was played of Kolkata Knight Riders where the captain was changed. Sourav Ganguly is the most popular figure in Indian city of Kolkata and West Bengal. He is the most successful captain of India and no matter what is his performance in Indian team his role as a captain came never to a question. In stead even the players of other countries have always accepted that Ganguly is one of the three captains of world cricket of this time. However, Buchanan and Shahrukh Khan felt that Ganguly was not a good captain for the team then they replaced him with a foreign player. This hurt many people in Kolkata and West Bengal. So, they felt very angry with the Indian actor. However, the decision of changing captain seem to have back fire completely and the Knight Riders are in the last position and if there were any relegation system then the team would be in second division next season.

Shah Rukh Khan was not unhappy with the way his team performed and that is why, he came up with a new idea that he wanted to either change of Kolkata Knight Riders to Just Knight Riders or sell the club to any new person. The idea of omitting the name Kolkata from the club angered many people in Kolkata naturally because this name is omitted then naturally the club losses its city identity. When BCCI started Indian Premier League or IPL then the basic idea was to follow ICL and create clubs that are based on cities and their names will be on the name of the top cities of India. Kolkata is perhaps the second largest city in India after Mumbai and it has more then ten million people.

Then, a very funny thing happened there was a fake IPL blog and fake IPL player. The Blogger claimed that he knows a lot of secrets of Kolkata Knight Riders and he is a player of the team. This matter again took away all the attention from the way Kolkata Knight Riders was playing and in stead created even more interest among people.

As I stated earlier, Shah Rukh Khan and Buchanan were never happy with the amount of controversy they could generate and they wanted more. So, they created a new problem and they omitted Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh from any game. Mashrafe Mortaza is the vice captain of Bangladesh cricket team and naturally the whole nation had expectation that he would play in some of the matches. However, when it did not happen it angered many people in Bangladesh and immediately Shahrukh Khan became a villain to many people in Dhaka and the rest of the country.

Shahrukh Khan also managed to attract the attention of some NGOs for his smoking in the stadium and TV channels showing him this way. What I feel is that if cigarette is so important for him then he should not come to the stadium in the first place.

The latest criticism that has been against Kolkata Knight Riders is the alleged matter of racism. Ajay Jadeja in a television programme complained that there is racism in the team and Coach John Buchanan and his Australian stuffs are disrespectful to the Indian player. John Buchanan has refused this matter strongly but still, the controversy continues.

We know that in the film industry, scandal and controversy is not that bad. In fact, in the glamour industry, the maxim is that no publicity is bad publicity. So, yes Shahrukh Khan has managed to get much more publicity than any other team. So, I guess that he is not that unhappy with the poor performance of the club. However, the fans are disappointed and frustrated. The people of Kolkata wanted to feel proud but they are unhappy to see that Kolkata Knight Riders are at the bottom position.

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