One interesting aspect of covering the Rajasthan Royals camp this Twenty20 league season was the occasional presence of their co-owner Raj Kundra during the team's net sessions.
While his wife and Bollywood actor, Shilpa Shetty, too attended the games with their infant son, Kundra's involvement along with that of Manoj Badale, another co-owner, sent the message that he had a special role to play in the franchise.
"He (Kundra) and Shilpa were the faces of the team. There were bigger stakeholders like Suresh Chellaram and Badale. But these two, especially Shilpa, added glamour to a team that lacked it badly," said an official. The duo had bought an 11% stake in Feb 2009, which was then worth $15.4 million in a team valued at $140 million.
Badale used to look after the day-to-day affairs with CEO Raghu Iyer. "These were the two guys handling logistics. The foreign investors like Chellaram and Kundra weren't involved in the day-to-day affairs."
"But Raj and Shilpa attended the pre-season franchises meeting with Badale to discuss things like the opening ceremony, among other things."