Zinta, Burman visit BCCI headquarters

Bollywood actor Preity Zinta and Kings XI Punjab franchise co-owner Mohit Burman visited the Cricket Board’s headquarters here during the meeting of the Board’s Working Committee on Sunday.

Apparently the duo had arrived to hand over some documents relevant to the shareholding details of the IPL franchise, which are under a scanner, to the Board and also to meet the BCCI bigwigs.

With the top BCCI officials busy in the meeting, the duo left after a short stay.

The Mohali franchise, whose principal owners are Preity Zinta and industrialists Mohit and Gaurav Burman, Ness Wadia and Karan Paul, is under the tax scanner with authorities investigating alleged financial irregularities in the cash-rich league.

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‘Time for hard decisions’

Upset over Kings XI Punjab’s dismal performance in the third edition of the Indian Premier League, Bollywood star and co-owner of the team Preity Zinta on Monday called for “hard decisions” against the players not doing well.

“As in the T20 matches it is necessary to rotate the strike, time has come to take some hard decisions,” Zinta told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

Zinta, who spent three days in the hill town, hinted at major introspection to give a fresh look to the team that finished at the bottom of the standings. “We need to look afresh at the team’s performance,” she said.

When asked about allegations that some team members underperformed, she did not comment on it but said, “Team’s performance has not been up to the mark.”

“We will come back with a bang,” said Zinta, whose combined efforts with Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur, fetched two matches for the hill town.

“I took personal interest to get IPL matches to Dharamsala,” said Zinta, adding that she is keen to take cricket to her hometown Shimla in future.

“It is my dream to organise IPL matches in Shimla. Unfortunately, we don’t have a playing ground there,” she said. Zinta has requested the HPCA to “construct a world-class stadium in Shimla” as well.

Zinta said that the trip to Dharamsala was an emotional experience for her.

“HPCA has constructed a very good stadium here. And the response in Dharamsala has been overwhelming, “ Zinta said after their final league match.

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Dharamshala stadium best for IPL games : Preity Zinta

Bollywood star and co-owner of the Kings Eleven Punjab, Preity Zinta expressed hope that lot many games of the IPL-4 would be played in the most beautiful cricket stadium of the world at Dharamshala next year.

In an exclusive interview with UNI here late last night, Preity was all praise for the most congenial atmosphere at Dharamshala for cricket and particularly for IPL.

She said beautiful magnificent Dhauladhar mountains over looking the stadium has attracted both national and international cricket players. She said the contribution of HPCA Chief Anurag Thakur was laudable in bring up such a beautiful stadium in this hill town. She said last year she had decided to get IPL to Dharamshala but it was shifted to South Africa but now in future the first preference would be given to this hill town stadium. She said that lot many IPL games would be played at Dharamshala next year. Preity, visibly dejected with the performance of her team in IPL-3, said that all is well that ends well and keeping fingers crossed she hoped to win the last match at Dharamshala today. When asked that had she pinned her hopes for better performance of her team during IPL-4 Preity all smiling replied that let the IPL-3 ends well. She was all praise for the people of the state for their tremendous support to her team on April 16 day-night match. She thanked Hotel The Grand Raj for its hospitality and said that she was looking forward to come back again. She wrote on visitors book the Kashmiri Naan was funny.

She earlier held a meeting with her team members including the players in the hotel but she came down to the restaurant and asked the waiting mediapersons not to shoot. She never wanted to meet mediapersons, said her personal security commando.

Meanwhile a senior journalist pen down three lines addressing her as his daughter and daughter of the soil and suggested her not to leave without meeting them. She was moved with the parental approach of the journalist and immediately responded and came out of the restaurant and addressed him and other journalists in a most cordial atmosphere in the lobby of the hotel ‘The Grand Raj’.

Her gesture gave a chance to some waiting children and women at 11.00 pm to click photographs with multimillionaire Bollywood actress before she left for Dharamshala.

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Indian Premier Awards on 23rd April: Lalit Modi

Modi said the awards night would include the performances by A.R. Rahman, Shilpa Shetty, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and also two cricketers performance. The hosts at the Award Ceremony are Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan and would be telecast on Colours channel in early May.

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Kings rule over Mumbai

Punjab skipper scores 56 while Pathan, Chawla scalp three wickets each to script victory

Kings XI Punjab cruised to a facile six-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League match at Mohali Stadium on Friday.Chasing 155 to win, Punjab reached the target quite smoothly. Mahela Jayawardene (31) and little known Adrian Barath (33) got off to a flyer.

After the two departed it was left up to Punjab skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Yuvraj Singh (15). Sangakkara played a captain’s knock of 56 off 42 balls to ensure his team reach closer to total.

Punjab pacer Irfan Pathan then did the needful scoring 15 runs in just six balls to hand over second successive defeat for Mumbai Indians.Earlier in the day, Piyush Chawla and Irfan Pathan shared six wickets between them as a lowly Kings XI Punjab restricted formidable Mumbai Indians to a modest 154 for nine.
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Preity Zinta denies rumours of rift in Kings XI

Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta rubbished the rumours of rift in the team and said such reports were distractive to the players.

Reports of rift between former Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh and Kumar Sangakkara have been doing the rounds. It has also been reported that the rift had pulled the Kings XI team down and was the main reason behind their losing streak in this season.

There were also speculations that Yuvraj Singh was deliberately underperforming in the Indian Premier League after being stripped of Kings XI Punjab’s captaincy.

To this, Zinta said in a statement, “There is no truth to the speculative reportage that is being carried in various segments of the media and these get accentuated when the tide is not in our favour”.

We are focused on the game today (against Bangalore) and by reporting such stories we are distracting the players hence we request the media not to resort to such speculative reporting,” she added.

Yuvraj has also hit back strongly at the rumours of his underperformance.

“I am disgusted & horrified. Injury is not easy and I’ve had 3 in a row and I hope to bounce back soon. I always try to give my best, no matter what the circumstance and right now I am struggling with my form. It happens to every player,” Yuvraj wrote on his Twitter account.
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Yuvraj wanted to leave Kings XI before IPL 3

Kings XI Punjab’s fortunes have hit rock-bottom in IPL 3 and it’s an open secret that its icon player Yuvraj Singh is in a sulk.

It now transpires that his palpable gloominess and poor form is not so much a result of his differences with the new captain Kumar Sangakkara as his desire to leave the Punjab team which had led to a row between him and the franchisee even before the tournament started.

TOI has learnt that the problems emerged sometime last December when the IPL trading window opened, at around the time the Ness Wadia co-owned franchise announced that Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara would replace Yuvraj as the Kings XI skipper.

Yuvraj, according to well-placed sources, approached Wadia and expressed a desire to leave the franchise, and some quarters suggest a move to Mumbai Indians was on the anvil.

Wadia, reluctant to part with the team’s most expensive and popular face, flatly refused and expressed fears to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that Yuvraj’s reluctance could spill over on to the field, and that the batsman might deliberately underperform if asked to stay back. Sources say BCCI officials subsequently had a word with the player.

This year, Yuvraj has scored only 101 runs from seven games at an average of 14.42, and the team’s sole win till now has come via a Super Over eliminator in a game in which he scored 43, his best score yet in IPL 3.

However, it might be a stretch to imply one of India’s best cricketers is deliberately throwing his wicket away, as Yuvraj has a swashbuckling batting style prone to inconsistency, especially if his mind is not focussed.
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Preity Zinta: Bollywood star sets sights on business world

Preity Zinta is a Bollywood superstar with a string of awards and hit movies to her name. But as co-owner of a major cricket team, and following a course at Harvard Business School, she has started a transition from actress to businesswoman.

An English graduate who went on to study criminal psychology, Zinta, 34, told CNN she fell into acting by chance, but had always been interested in business.

“It’s not that acting was something I’d always wanted to do. I had no formal training; I’d never really imagined I’d be an actress,” she said in a telephone interview from India.

“Business was something that had always been in my mind, but when I got into acting, I learned everything on set, and for me at that point I wanted to excel at what I did.”

Zinta had been acting for 11 years when, in 2008, she decided to buy a stake in Kings XI Punjab, one of the eight cricket teams in the fledgling, multimillion dollar, Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I was at the top of my job, doing extremely well, everything was great and then I said ‘now what?’ There has to be a natural progression,” Zinta told CNN.

Hugely popular in India, the IPL attracts some of the world’s top cricketers and has a sizeable following in cricket-playing countries. No silent partner, Zinta said that when she bought her stake she was determined to be involved in running the team.

“I’m pretty hands on. The partners I was working with all come from business families, and they’re all running billion-dollar businesses, so for them, this was too small a business to run day-to-day,” she said. “So I decided I would go for it, be hands on, learn the business from the start and see how it goes.”
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