The King Khan and the Indian Premier League share a very tumultuous relationship. Both are made for the limelight and revel in it. But like most relationships this too has seen its ups and downs.
Here are some of the downs. The times when Shah Rukh was embrolied in controversies in his role as a co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders during the IPL:
The latest controversy surrounding Shah Rukh Khan and IPL is the King Khan ‘allegedly’ turning into the ‘Hulk’ at the Wankhede and reportedly getting into a brawl with Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) officials and security guards.
The incident which took place on Wednesday after his franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians has led to the MCA planning to ban the Bollywood actor from Wankhede. The MCA has also lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police. Shah Rukh is, of course, vehemently denying the charges of his “drunk and disorderly behaviour”. He claims it was the security guards who were the aggressors and also allegedly manhandled him and his kids.
Shah Rukh Khan is a chain smoker. And this habit of his has landed the actor in legal trouble time and again.
In April this year, a Jaipur court summoned the actor to appear before it on May 26 after a complaint was filed against him for publicly smoking at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium during an IPL match on April 8th.
He was seen smoking openly at the stadium despite smoking publicly being banned in Rajasthan since 2000 under the Rajasthan Prevention of Smocking Act.
This is not the first time Shah Rukh has been hauled up for smoking in public during an IPL match. In 2009, he was targeted by the anti-smoking lobby after being seen on television smoking at a stadium during a Kolkata Knight Riders match. This despite the tournament having been held in South Africa.
One is called the ‘King Khan’, the other ‘Maharaja’ or ‘Prince of Kolkata’. It was inevitable that two giants of their fields wouldn’t be able to co-exist harmoniously. And so after very first season, Kolkata Knight Riders’ ‘icon’ player Sourav Ganguly was dropped as the captain of the franchise. Shah Rukh backed Aussie coach John Buchanan’s “multiple captains” theory and Kiwi Brendon McCullum was appointed the new skipper. But it didn’t work and Dada was back at the helm in 2010.
But the story wasn’t over yet. Shah Rukh wasn’t done yet and the 2011 auction saw KKR drop Ganguly completely from the squad. Delhiite Gautam Gambhir was picked and chosen to lead the squad.
As expected the partisan Bengal crowd revolted at the move and organised protest rallies, and even blockaded games outside the Eden Gardens. But to no avail. Ganguly was eventually picked up by Pune Warriors.
Team owner Shah Rukh Khan upset KKR fans after dropping Kolkata from Kolkata Knight Riders’ merchandise and the company name in 2009.
Joy Bhattacharya, the team director, had at the time explained, “The only reason why Kolkata was removed from the T-shirt is because it was small and looked dirty. All our press releases say Kolkata Knight Riders. As a team we are known as Kolkata Knight Riders. Knight Riders is the company's name." Bhattacharya also stressed that it is an IPL rule to have the city name in the team.
Of course, such explanations did not go down well with angry Kolkatans.
In IPL’s second season, Shah Rukh was barred from entering the team’s dressing room by the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit while the matches were in progress. The actor had later issued a statement saying he would boycott the remaining IPL matches till IPL authorities clarified the code of conduct.
Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t shy of speaking his mind. In 2009, Gavaskar upset Shah Rukh while slamming Kolkata Knight Riders' coach John Buchanan for his “multiple captain” theory and for bringing in his clique of Queenslanders to form the support staff of the franchise.
SRK wasn’t impressed and took a dig at the legend saying, "I have spent lot of money on my team. If you have a problem then you buy your own team and run it the way you want."
Shah Rukh questioning Gavaskar’s credibility on the issue since he hadn’t played any T20 got the cricketing community up in arms.
The actor and Gavaskar, eventually, made-up.
The year 2009 wasn’t a good one for SRK as there were controversies galore. Another controversy from that year: match-fixing allegation being levelled against the team. Allegation were made that the May 12th match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was fixed. The accusations were made because KKR’s top scorer Brad Hodge was made to sit in the hospitality box as opposed to the team dug-out during the game.
The actor was included in the Shiv Sena blacklist after advocating the inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in IPL in 2010.
Shah Rukh, who had Pakistani pace duo of Umar Gul and Shoiab Akhtar in his IPL squad, had said at the time that it was humiliating for him to see that no Pakistani player had been picked for IPL Season 3.
"We would have loved to have Pakistani players in our side if they were made available legally," he had been quoted as saying.
This had invited the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s ire with the party condemning the actor's statements.
They have also asked him to pull out all the Australian players from his team Kolkata Knight Riders since Indians were being targeted in Australia.
The political party had threatened to disrupt the screening of SRK’s film “My Name is Khan”.
“We were not opposed to the movie My Name Is Khan but to Khan who had favoured Pakistani cricketers,” Thackeray had said.