Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)
Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)

This Shahrukh Khan too wants to become a star

  • The cricketer’s name and cricket credentials thrilled Punjab Kings owner Preity Zinta, who was seen reaching out to the Kolkata Knight Riders owners’ table, presumably telling them that now they also have a Shahrukh Khan in their team.
By Shalini Gupta, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 07:47 AM IST

In Indore for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Tamil Nadu player Shahrukh Khan’s phone began buzzing as soon as he got off the bus while coming back from a practice session. The congratulatory messages brought a big smile on the 25-year-old cricketer’s face. The reason: He had been bought by Punjab Kings for INR 5.25 Cr in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.

The cricketer’s name and cricket credentials thrilled Punjab Kings owner Preity Zinta, who was seen reaching out to the Kolkata Knight Riders owners’ table, presumably telling them that now they also have a Shahrukh Khan in their team.

Khan was disappointed on missing out on an IPL contract last season despite doing well for Tamil Nadu in the domestic league. This year, his unbeaten 19-ball knock of 40 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy quarterfinal immediately caught the attention of the cricketing fraternity; Tamil Nadu eventually won the tournament.

“Finally, I have an IPL contract and would be able to showcase my skills in the competition,” Khan said over the phone. “Last season, I was hoping to bag a contract but somehow it did not happen. I have to admit that a knock of 40 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy proved my cricket abilities.”

In February, post the domestic T20 tournament, Punjab Kings coach Anil Kumble called him for trials for Punjab Kings. Khan also appeared for trials for KKR and RR.

Khan, who is named after Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, grew up watching his father Masood play lower division cricket in Chennai.

“My mother’s (Lubna Khan) cousins persuaded my parents to name me after Shah Rukh Khan,” Khan said. “I do enjoy his movies as well. But cricket was always my first love. My brother and I would accompany our father to his games as kids. We were fascinated by the sport.”

Khan, who idolizes New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson, made it to Tamil Nadu’s Ranji squad in 2014, but made his debut only in 2018. But over the years, he has built a reputation for being a superb finisher in T20s.

“Tamil Nadu is a top domestic side. I have learnt a lot since I made my debut for my state,” he said. “I hope to deliver the goods for my team in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. I’m sure I will learn more when I play for Punjab Kings in the IPL and rub shoulders with the best in the world.”

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