IPL 2017: Shah Rukh Khan to attend Kolkata Knight Riders’ last game at Eden Gardens | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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IPL 2017: Shah Rukh Khan to attend Kolkata Knight Riders’ last game at Eden Gardens

Shah Rukh Khan has attended only one game in 2017 Indian Premier League and that was Kolkata Knight Riders’ first of the season, away to Gujarat Lions.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 12, 2017 08:26 IST
Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, celebrates after his team won the 2017 Indian Premier League game against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on April 7.
Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, celebrates after his team won the 2017 Indian Premier League game against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on April 7.(BCCI)

Shah Rukh Khan will be at the Eden Gardens on Saturday when his team, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on table-toppers Mumbai Indians in what will be the last game of the league phase of 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) for both.

Khan has attended only one game this season and that was KKR’s first of the season, away to Gujarat Lions. The Knights won by 10 wickets that night with Chris Lynn helping Gautam Gambhir overhaul the 184-run target in 14.5 overs.

READ | ‘How Kolkata Knight Riders invited IPL 2017 defeat versus Kings XI Punjab’

“He came for the opening game in Rajkot. We had a really good result in that match. Hopefully, he will bring that luck in the last game as well,” said Venky Mysore, the team CEO, at a promotional golf event organised by KKR here on Thursday.

Time was when the novelty of seeing Khan drew people to the Eden. In the early days of the IPL, he has recited Tagore and shaken a leg with the crowd loving every moment of it. So, even when KKR had one underwhelming season after another, the Eden Gardens would be packed.

All that started changing from 2011 when KKR overhauled the team, even letting go of former India captain and Kolkatan Sourav Ganguly.

They made their first play-offs that year. Next year, KKR won the IPL and from then on have been one of the competition’s most consistent teams. That also meant that SRK wasn’t the only hook that would fill the terraces. From being an underperforming team owned by a Hindi film icon, KKR had become the star attraction.

READ | Why MS Dhoni, Mumbai Indians continue to dominate IPL 2017

This term too, they have almost made it to the play-offs. A win against Mumbai Indians ---- a team against whom KKR have lost 14 of their 19 matches and Khan was banned from the Wankhede after one of their rare wins ---- could even help them finish among the top two.

Even if KKR lose on Saturday, with 16 points and currently second in the standings, they could still be in the mix if Kings XI Punjab lose any one of their remaining two games.

What works in KKR’s favour is their net run of +0.729 which is second to Mumbai Indians and way above the rest of the pack. In 2015, they had missed out because of that but with Lynn and Sunil Narine helping the team get explosive starts, KKR have notched up some impressive wins this term.

READ | Chris Lynn disappointed for not taking Kolkata Knight Riders home

“We have pretty much qualified for the play-offs though there is one game to go,” said coach Jacques Kallis.

Like skipper Gambhir, Kallis said KKR let themselves down against Kings XI Punjab.

“We got off to a great start and the platform has been well set throughout the season. But that happens. In T20 cricket, you don’t win all matches. There are hard totals that you chase down, easy totals that you can’t chase down. We will take some valuable lessons going into the next game,” said Kallis.