Playing at Eden: Bolly blockbuster

Published On: 2014-05-04

Author: unknown

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Playing at Eden: Bolly blockbuster


Source: Telegraph 

Date: May 7, 2011 


Two of the country’s biggest movie stars in one box, cheering the home team. The stadium gallery almost transformed into a Karan Johar film set. A chance to watch a cricket match and a Bollywood blockbuster for the same ticket. 


This happens only in Calcutta. 

After Priyanka Chopra’s pom-pom presence last Saturday, Hrithik Roshan boosted Shah Rukh Khan’s purple people this evening at a packed Eden Gardens. No surprises that the heat generated by the screen superheroes brought a sharp downpour in the middle of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings, fashioning a 10-run win for them under the Duckworth-Lewis method. It was sweet revenge for the Knights against the Chennai Super Kings after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men had beaten Gautam Gambhir’s in the opening match of IPL 2011. 


That SRK’s star power has truly turned Calcutta into the Bollywood team is all the more evident when you remember that Hrithik was brand ambassador for the Mumbai Indians when the IPL started three years ago. He had even appeared in the video of the theme song of the Mukesh Ambani-owned, Sachin Tendulkar-led side. The change from the blue MI jersey he wore in 2008 to the tight purple tee, with “48” written on the back, that he sported on Saturday, Hrithik has been a complete KKR convert.


“This is my first IPL game.... I came with Shah Rukh to watch the match and support the Kolkata Knight Riders,” said Hrithik, who arrived at the ground just minutes before the innings break. But when he hugged Shah Rukh near the clubhouse side-screen at the end of the match, and the two did a victory parade on the wet green outfield, waving to the crowds that had stayed back to catch a glimpse of them, it seemed a magic moment straight out of the movies. Mrs Roshan, Sussanne, who unlike her husband has supported the Knight Riders before, was there beside Mrs Khan, Gauri, and Juhi Chawla in the B1 box. There were other star couples too in what was the starriest KKR hospitality lounge this entire season. Arjun and Meher Jessia Rampal, Sameer Soni and Neelam Kothari, Chunkey and Bhavna Pandey... clearly, if you are friends with Shah Rukh or Gauri, you have got to be a KKR supporter. All that star support didn’t go waste as the Knights went one step closer to ensuring a top-four berth. 


With 14 points in the bank and three games to go, the Knights would like to finish in the top two so that they can have an easier shot at a spot in the final under the two-stage qualifier rule this year. A very light drizzle in the afternoon had delayed the start by an hour but the Eden pitch continued to be too sluggish for the batsmen to get into any kind of rhythm. The Chennai Super Kings batsmen, especially, found it hard to score on the surface coupled with some excellent KKR bowling (by Brett Lee and Man of the Match Iqbal Abdullah), making just 15 runs in the first six overs. The first boundary hit — a six —came in the penultimate ball of the 10th over. 


Subramaniam Badrinath was the only Chennai batsman who looked at ease, helping his team reach a respectable 114 for four off their 20 overs. During his innings of 54 off 41 balls, he reached 1,000 runs in the IPL. While the Knights lost Eoin Morgan early, the other three batsmen in the top order — Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary — played briskly enough to ensure that they were ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score when the heavens opened around 7.40pm. Dhoni had said at the toss that his decision to bat first was based on the absence of a rain forecast for the evening. Well MSD, never trust the weathermen, especially when superstars shine in the stands.




SRK backs KKR for IPL glory


Source: IPL 20 

Date: May 7, 2011 


Nothing sets the adrenaline racing as a ‘comeback’ in the Gentleman’s game. If a team looks too far for a revival, our rational response is to believe it’s all over. However, a comeback, and one against all odds, speaks to our irrational side. It is the ultimate fairytale story of failure followed by resurrection and success. One such team that has made a comeback this season is Kolkata Knight Riders. In an exclusive interview with, SRK spoke about his team’s revival, friends Hrithik Roshan and Arjun Rampal, and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir. 


Pushing back a thick mop of sweat-drenched black hair off his forehead, Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan couldn’t hide his emotions at the end of a rain-marred win against Chennai Super Kings. “Today we had luck on our side as our main mascot, Arjun Rampal, is here. Normally, whenever he comes to the stadium our players make about 140 runs. It is also Duggu’s (Hrithik Roshan) first game. So luck is always with us. Today I think Duggu brought a little bit of rain with him and it worked in our favour,” Shah Rukh said. 


Hrithik, who was standing beside Arjun and SRK, quipped: “This is the first time I have come to watch a live cricket match in my life. The only thing I was praying [for] was – God, please, let us be happy at the end of the day. And I think somewhere he heard our prayers.” “Well, I usually support the weak, but in this case I support the strong,” Hrithik added. Meanwhile, Arjun who turns out in a KKR jersey every season, was ecstatic. “We have been following Kolkata Knight Riders for last three years and we have been very passionate. The atmosphere at the Eden Gardens is always fantastic. The passion that every person in Kolkata has for cricket in unbelievable. It is a very proud feeling to see KKR right at the top.” 


“Every year we tell ourselves that next year we will be better. I believe this year is going to be our year,” he said, stealing a glance at SRK. King Khan interrupted Arjun and delivered one of the most famous lines, “I had this dialogue in Baazigar, ‘Haar ke jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hain.’ But this year I have changed it to, ‘Jeet ke jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hain.’ Inshallah, we will win this time,” he said. 


“To be honest, all of us who come here to support the team have a film background but we have a huge amount of sportsman spirit. The losses over the last couple of years have never dampened that spirit. It is just that we have felt that the team has not come together in the previous seasons. But those years are behind us. We wanted to start with a clean slate. Like in films, when we don’t get a shot right we start shooting all over again. I think that philosophy and the young leader Gautam [Gambhir] and people like Jaidev Unadkat and L Balaji are performing. Also it is heartening to see that Kolkata is back to cheer us.” 


On the strategy during the auctions and team selection, SRK said: “We wanted a fresh team. Venky [Mysore], Dav Whatmore, Vijay Dahiya, Joydeep, Jeet and Joy Da sat together to work out a strategy before the 2011 auctions. See, in the auctions you can’t choose much but I think we got one of the combinations right this time. “All my friends from the industry have stuck by me to tell the people of Kolkata that we are together and we will win. Imagine what are we going to do if we win the cup,” he signed off.