While Kings XI Punjab had a mixed outing in this season’s IPL, co-owner Preity Zinta remains upbeat about her team chances of progressing to the knockout stages. Ahead of KXIP’s crucial match against RCB, Zinta spoke exclusively to the indianexpress.com and shared her insights and experiences of the IPL, how IPL has become a part of her life and who are the players who managed to catch her eye this season.
Despite not winning the tournament even once in 10 years with Kings XI Punjab, Zinta’s enthusiasm has not subsided one bit and speaking about what keeps her connected, Zinta said, “This my first venture that I believed in and I wanted to do. I left my movies for this. It’s like my baby and so I would love to win the tournament with KXIP.”
“The other thing which keeps me connected is to witness talent coming out from grassroots level. Young Indian boys coming out and doing well is something I love to see and in someway I feel like I am a part of a change in this country”, she added.
Speaking about her journey of ten years with the team, Zinta said, “When I first got into this I never anticipated that it would pan out this way but now its been ten to twelve years. After winning my first Filmfare award, people asked me what would I do after ten years and I said, “Well I’ll be doing business”. But I was told to relax and focus on movies. However, it was always in my head that there is life beyond the movies. So it was a very conscious decision to be involved in sports.”
However, her passion for cricket is comparatively is new. “I love sports in general but the passion for cricket has developed only after IPL. I barely saw cricket earlier. But with my time in IPL I have learnt a lot.”
Coming to KXIP’s run this year, Zinta refused to comment citing that it’s too early to talk now. “But our last match was unbelievable and I am confident that we can do well.” But when asked who her favourite player is Zinta replied saying that the one who wins the man of the match is always her favourite.” she said.
Meanwhile, in this year’s IPL one player who has caught her eye is Sandeep Sharma.” It’s incredible how he bowled in the last match and also took one of the best catches in the tournament. He didn’t play a game before and came back with a vengeance. So it shows that if you back yourself you can go a long way.”
Speaking about KXIP’s mantra for success in the IPL, the 42-year-old said,”When we got into the IPL, one thing we were sure of was that KXIP will nurture talent on a grassroot level and build on that. We were the first franchise to have a kings cup which provided a platform for local talent to come up and that is the beauty of the IPL.”
“IPL was not solely for entertainment but to give a platform for the youngsters to perform”, she said before singing off.