British football inspired Shah Rukh to think of owning a team


Kolkata : Five years ago Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was watching a football match in London when the idea of owning a team crossed his mind. Shah Rukh realised that dream – though in cricket, not football – when he bought the Kolkata franchise of the Indian Premier League.

Support TwoCircles

“I was watching English Premier League (EPL) in London when I went for a spinal cord surgery there. I thought if something like this could be started in football or hockey in India. So, when the IPL happened, I decided to join it,” Shah Rukh, who was in the city Tuesday to launch his Kolkata Knight Riders team, told IANS.

In February 2003, Shah Rukh underwent surgery on his spine in London’s Wellington Hospital and since then, he has been visiting the city at regular intervals.

On his philosophy of work ethic, Shah Rukh said: “My life has three simple tenets – work hard, don’t think bad about others, and be honest to yourself.

“The point is, don’t be caught up in small things, go for success. If you are a player, be like Roger Federer, and if you are an actor be like Amitabh Bachchan.”

Asked whether his son Aryan’s love for the game is also one of the reasons to own a cricket team, he said: “It’s not only for Aryan. It’s for the youth of the country. I do a lot of social work, but I want to do something for sports. I want Knight Riders to be an inspiration for the youngsters.”

Shah Rukh said if he had taken up cricket as a career, he would have been a wicketkeeper. “I was a wicketkeeper when I used to play cricket.”

King Khan also went down memory lane and recalled the first cricket match he saw, an India-Pakistan encounter in 1979. “My mother was a magistrate and she got tickets for us to watch that match at Ferozshah Kotla, in which Imran Khan made 32.”

On Preity Zinta hoping to see the Chandigarh and Kolkata teams in the final, he said: “I wish her all the best and hope what she says comes true. But I will not make such tall claims. I hope we play good, entertaining, robust cricket and in the process if we reach the final, there is nothing like it.”