Bollywood and cricket two things, every Indian is passionate about.
During the recent auction of world’s top cricket-men for the yet to start Indian Premier League (IPL), we saw the inter-mixing of these two passions at their very best.
Bollywood stars, who own IPL teams, bid for the best cricketing talent that the world has to offer.
Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta were among those present at the seven-hour, closed-door auction, which sent onlookers into a frenzy, with television channels exhaustively covering each high-profile entry and exit.
The top prices were cornered by Indian and Australian players – ranging from Indian skipper Mahendra Dhoni’s $1.5 million, $1.35 million to Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds and $950,000 to Indian bowler Ishant Sharma and $900,000 to Australia’s Brett Lee.
“Cricket is played with a passion here. I don’t know if this will make money,” said Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who is part owner of the Calcutta franchise. “None of us here thinks it is small change. None of us are here to throw money. But it’s to try to create something. Just trying to create something makes me feel successful already.”
Along with Shah Rukh Khan, there was Bollywood glamour at the auction in the shape of Preity Zinta, part owner of the Mohali franchise.
“We have Brett Lee, (Kumar) Sangakarra and (Mahela) Jayawardena,” she said. “I’m really excited. Wish us luck.”
The IPL season will consist of a total of 59 matches over 44 days from April 18. The teams will play a fast-paced variant of cricket called Twenty20, a format in which matches take about three hours to complete–far shorter than traditional test cricket, in which games can run for up to five days.