Kings XI Punjab have failed to win a game in the IPL so far. HT caught up with the team’s co-owner, Ness Wadia, and discussed the franchise’s journey so far, rumours of a sell-out in the run-up to the third edition and the road ahead.
It’s not been a great start this year. How do you sum up?
Its been fun, anguish, pain and happiness. To sum it up, it has been a whirlwind journey and we are back where we started off (in India).
What about the business model? Has it worked?
It’s matter of making money. In the first two years we didn’t really make money. This year we will probably break even. It has been tough. You make money on the fans and you need to have a fan base for that. We launched our fan club a couple of weeks ago before our first match this year and there are lots of opportunities that can be exploited.
There were rumours about the franchise being sold to Hero Honda.
Rumours are rumours. I don’t see a complete sell-out happening for the moment. But at the end of the day, we believe in running a business professionally. If someone comes in and gives us the right value (to buy a stake in the company), maybe we will consider it as an investment opportunity on the lines of what Royals did.
Coming back to cricket, things have not gone well.
We have been missing quite a few players due to their engagements elsewhere. James Hopes, who was to come here on Friday, has got injured, while Simon Katich is playing for Australia. From that perspective, IPL needs to ensure that we have a right calendar and the players are available.
Your take on the demand to allow teams retain some players.
Anyone pushing for some players to be retained will be unfair on the 9th and 10th teams. After all, we bought these players for three years only.
Your views on continuing with the icon player status
Maybe it hasn’t worked for some teams. I think franchises know who are their valuable players. You don’t need an icon tag. May be they should have a level playing field now.