Kolkata still stands by Knight Riders

May 5th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar
By Sreya Basu
Kolkata, May 5 (IANS) With four consecutive defeats, the “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo” motto may be losing tempo, but fans of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are unperturbed with some even looking to the gods above. “We will perform a yagna (fire ritual) to ward off ill-omens and pray for the victory of KKR in every match,” said 27-year Kamal Saraf.

“The KKR are just undergoing a bad patch. But Shah Rukh will never let his team lose at the IPL (Indian Premier League),” added Shahjahan Ali, a 22-year old KKR supporter.

The glitz of the team, owned by film star Shah Rukh Khan, began to fade after their second victory. Now, with their fourth defeat against the Preity Zinta owned Kings XI Punjab at Mohali Saturday, KKR have reached the bottom of the IPL table.

Cricket fans here are also supportive of KKR captain Sourav Ganguly despite his spat with Shane Warne.

Avantika Pande, a Ganguly fan, told IANS: “KKR’s defeats are not solely Dada’s (Sourav Ganguly) responsibility. It was unfortunate that the team has to let go big guns like Ricky Ponting and Brendon McCullum at this crucial point. But we are relieved that Shoaib Akhtar has been permitted to play for the KKR.”

“Dada is a revolutionary figure in Indian cricket. We must notice the difference between the controversies that Dada and Warne get involved in. Dada knows some situations and players are to be dealt in a particular way. But even then he never goes beyond the limits of professionalism,” said Arjan Pal, member of Saurav Ganguly fan club.

Some feel that team-owner and crowd-puller Shah Rukhs’s absence at the matches played at Chennai, Jaipur and Mohali have affected the team.

“Surely his absence affected the team to some extent. But Shah Rukh has promised to be present in all the KKR matches at Eden Gardens and that’s more than we want. As for the team, it is not playing for Shah Rukh but to win the IPL,” said Shraddha, a 30-year software engineer.

Psychiatrist Shraboni Mukherjee said: “It is Shah Rukh’s responsibility to be with the KKR. His presence does adversely affect the team in a big way. Just imagine how lost the KKR must have felt when Preity Zinta was cheering up her boys Saturday.”

Ticket sales for the May 8 KKR versus Bangalore Royal Challengers match at the Eden Gardens here were to start Sunday at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) ticket-counters.

But according to sources at CAB, the authorities got such limited tickets that they returned the tickets to Shah Rukh’s company Red Chillies Entertainment.

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