Although Kings XI Punjab have not set the IPL on fire so far, Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, who co-owns the team, has always been in the limelight. But these are tough times for the franchise as well as Rajasthan Royals, winners of the first edition and partly-owned by another Bollywood face - Shilpa Shetty.
Both franchises looked unlikely to make it to the auction at this weekend after the BCCI axed them over irregularities in ownership patterns. They managed to stay afloat due to the relief provided by the Bombay High Court.
The legal battles meant Kings XI had no scope of retaining players. Rajasthan Royals held on to Shane Warne and Shane Watson but came to the auction with $2 million less in their purse after furnishing court guarantees to reduce their cap. Both Preity and Shilpa put up a brave face at the media briefings during the auction, but the hurt was evident.
Although she did not blame the IPL officials, Preity bemoaned the fact that the Kings XI table was at one corner, which made it difficult at times to catch the attention of the auctioneer. That led to a minor tiff with Royal Challengers, who blamed her team for an extremely late bid for Saurabh Tiwary just when RCB were wrapping it up.
"We were in the corner of the room and I don't think the gentleman who auctioned saw us. We decided to let go in the end," she explained.
Losing all-rounder Irfan Pathan to Delhi also hurt. "Until we got the order we couldn't go and sign players, which we had to do physically," she said.
However buying Adam Gilchrist should provide some relief to Preity.
Shilpa said it was an achievement to make it to the auction. "What can't be cured has to be endured."
The unsettled side will continue to encourage young talent in IPL 4 as well.
One Yusuf Pathan, who came out of the blue to take the league by storm in the first edition and commanded $2.1 million on Saturday, is inspiration enough to continue with that policy.