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IPL title has helped KKR overcome controversies: SRK

Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, on a high after winning the first Indian Premier League title in five years, opened up on a host of issues that have dogged the team and himself during a media interaction at his residence in Bandra yesterday.


Thanks guys: Shah Rukh Khan waves to fans outside his Bandra residence yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Excerpts:

On hogging most of the limelight after the win…
I am actually wrong in holding this press conference. But somewhere throughout I have felt that because of me, the team gets either extreme criticism or praise. And that’s not right. I felt for the team that because of me they have to bear that extra criticism.  There have been many controversies…. like the fake IPL player or too much interference in the leadership. So, it was very important for us to win this trophy to get the monkey off our back. I hope the players and other members will feel positive after this victory.

On what worked for KKR this time…
We have got the Cup so we will keep saying ‘oh we cracked it’. But that is not true. Having said that, the greatness of the team is how well they have gelled. I know the boys have felt the pressure of working for a team of a film star. So, I am happy that pressure is off. Gautam’s decision to stick with the players, who have not been in good form, did wonders. The players kept backing each other.

On the superstition of wearing black shirt in IPL-V…
We go there because it is a feeling of ownership. I wish it was as simple as that that if I attend a match, we will win. But it is not and I don’t believe in it. I feel if we are losing, I need to be there to show that we care. I remember, when we lost a match in Kolkata against Punjab, I locked myself in a room for six hours because I did not want to meet anyone. I don’t think that is  sportsmanship.

On criticism of KKR’s victory parade… 
I saw a gentleman on television saying that why celebrate so much when there are only five players from Kolkata. So, does that gentleman not watch the Indian team if there are no Bengali players in it? How dare anyone say that there is no point celebrating the success of a city team?

On celebration after winning the final…
When I stood on that balcony, I felt that I could fly. That’s how happy I was. Luckily, my daughter and sister had held my shirt. I really believed it could happen that day, and I am not being impractical or stupid. It was also important as a father that your children believe in you that hard work and honesty pays.

On what he did during the tense last over…
I don’t remember the last six balls. I was only praying to Allah Miyan. My daughter Suhana asked, ‘Will we win the match?’ And I just hugged her.

On KKR’s future plans…
Eden (Gardens) is our home ground and we would like to start our academy. But when I talk about this, my dream is to have academies all over. Of course, I would love to start one in Kolkata first. We have to be victorious first and then sell this idea. We can’t be losing eight to 10 matches and teach cricket.

On the belief of winning the IPL…
I remember every player had the belief that they can win this. They are big match players. None of them were angry or disturbed. After the loss to MI at Eden, the team felt it was a good leveler except Rohit Sharma’s brilliant innings. I remember Gautam saying that we will finish in the Top Two and first to qualify for the final.

On KKR’s past failures…
In the last five years, I have changed and realised that I can also fail. I had not faced failure for many years and it has made me humble. You can’t get angry and say the world is wrong. We have to realise that failure and success are not permanent. 

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