'I will stay away from IPL matches'
In an emotional outburst, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday said that he would stay away from the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League till he understood the code of conduct expected of him at the matches, a statement which has the potential to throw the Indian Premier league into a fresh controversy.
Making an oblique reference to his being debarred from the players' dugout at the Eden Gardens by the ICC Anti Corruption officials, Shah Rukh said in a SMS to his Kolkata Knight Rider players that he was still trying to understand the code of conduct expected of him at the matches.
"I am still trying to understand the code of conduct expected of me at the matches of the IPL, ICC, etc. After I understand it, I will decide whether to accept it or not. Till such time, I will be with you guys at the hotel, in the meeting etc, but wont come for the matches," he said.
Denying suggestions in a section of the media that his absence from the field had something to do with the team's poor performance, he said, "please don't ever feel it is anything to do with us as a team.... I am as dedicated to my Knights as I am to my kids.... Only, I won't be coming to the classroom till the headmasters' rules are understood by me.... I am a bit anti-establishment kind of a guy, so I apologise for this quirk to u all."
Shah Rukh, who owns the Kolkata team, also denied any rift involving him, captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Buchanan saying such things are normal when the scale is not tilted in one's favour.
"Do ignore all this bit about Dada, me and John having issues. It's a normal thing in the world. People like to hit you when u r down," Shah Rukh said in the SMS to all his team members.
Accepting that this year's IPL campaign for the Kolkata team, which had started with a bang, was all but over, King Khan said "right now, all of us have become part of a failed script. A bad IPL script."
Unwilling to get bogged down by the fresh controversy in the backdrop of the row between Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya and his captain Rahul Dravid, the Bollywood star said "It will make us stronger.... The only way to avoid this is to win."
"So, chin up and don't spoil yr character in the next two games.... Lets go out with a bang and not a whimper.... In films, we say u r only as good as yr last film.... So lets make the whole world know how good we r in the last (may be not) two games," Shah Rukh said in an impassionate plea to his team members.
The Knight Riders failed to win the last three matches in a row ending up in smoke any chance to be in the semi-final line-up. They now have ten points from 12 matches, of which they won five and lost seven.
"The beauty of failure is that it brings people together. So, lets stick this out together," Shah Rukh said.
In an apparent bid to distance himself from a Mallya-type controversy, King Khan told his players, "You know me well enuff to know I am not the kind of owner who has issues with the team cos of losses. I am too much of a sport myself to get beaten by defeats, like you guys are, like Dada and John."
He, however, made it clear that the batsmen had to get their act together saying "Lets make 200 runs tomorrow. This 150 seems to not work any more. We have nothing to lose now, except our character.... Lets not lose that."