“This year was always going to be the year for me to return to my core business, entertainment. Here I am, on the verge of making my small screen debut (Guinness World Record Ab India Todega) followed by film assignments after IPL 4 wraps up,” says Preity Zinta. “It’s a win-win situation for me. I’ll be on TV hosting my show, and on field I will be cheering for my team, Kings XI Punjab. It’s an entirely new team. Feels like I’m starting afresh.”
Mid-October last year, news was that Preity would be back in Bollywood with a glamourous role in a Yash Raj film. Few days later, her cricket franchise ran into trouble with the Board of Cricket Control in India for faulty monetary transactions. The team feared being ousted from the IPL 4 that starts early next month.
However, Preity and co-owner Ness Wadia’s team has been cleared of all allegations and is all charged up for the forthcoming IPL. “It takes a lot of preparation, paperwork and perfect coaching for the players. There’s lots to do,” says the actor.
Over the last two years, Preity refused to take on any film or TV shows. She was approached to judge dance competitions and anchor a chat show. “I had nearly shut shop. It’s hard to believe but I have turned down plum offers because entertainment is as serious a business for me as cricket. The highs were really high and lows were really low. In the middle of a court case and a broken relationship (with Wadia), I was mentally not prepared for a movie or a run-of-the-mill reality show,” she admits.
“The only film I shot during IPL 1 was Heroes with Salman (Khan) because it was being shot in Punjab. At that point, I had moved bag and baggage to Punjab because my team was playing and practicing there. I couldn’t be unfair to filmmakers who approached me with lovely projects. But now, the wait will be over after IPL 4,” she promises.
She adds that when Colors approached her for the show, she immediately gave the nod but requested them to work around her dates. “Usually, a TV show is shot once or twice a week over four months. After rigourous shoots all of last month and this month, I’ll be through with the 17-episode show before IPL 4 starts.”