A sum of Rs 1.8 crore may be the savings of a lifetime for many. In the IPL, it’s the amount the Kings XI Punjab players have to pay in fines. They didn’t commit a crime and they didn’t say anything libelous. But they did bowl really, really slow.
Preity Zinta’s men are used to sticky wickets. Disciplinary issues, run-ins with authorities over smoking in public areas, court summons for using pictures of freedom fighters in their promos and allegations of racism (by cheerleaders) have chased them.
On Saturday, days after they were fined $1,40,000 (Rs 64 lakh approximately) for slow over-rate, came an even bigger fine — $2,50,000 (Rs 1.13 crore approximately) — for the same reason.
The total fine the team has attracted for the same offence over three games comes to an unprecedented $400,000 (Rs 1.8 crore plus).
The franchise holders are yet to say if they will absorb the fine. While the top players have contracts worth hundreds of dollars, the earnings of other members hang in the balance. Pegged as a money-spinner, the IPL may well turn out to be the only tournament that leaves its cricketers with less money than they began with.