Malik impressed with IPL concept

March 31st, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik feels Indian Premier League (IPL) will be an interesting experience as cricketers from different countries share the dressing as team-mates, forgetting they had been opponents. “It (the IPL) is a great opportunity for international cricketers. Players from different countries will come together. It is great for the game and credit must go to India,” Malik said here during his IPL side Delhi Daredevils’ launch of its brand-partner Akshay Kumar.

The 26-year-old Pakistani said he and his overseas colleagues would play with the same passion and intensity for the Delhi team as they play for their countries.

“I am from Lahore, a city not very different from Delhi. I feel at home here and it’s great to be a part of this unique marriage between cricket and films. Bollywood stars are very popular in Pakistan and I am a great fan of Akshay.

Asked about the association of film stars with IPL. Malik said: “I am sure that Bollywoods involvement with the IPL will lead to greater fan following for the league,” said Malik.

The cash-rich IPL has attracted many celebrities from the tinsel town and Akshay is the latest to join the list after Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Priety Zinta, who bought a stake in the Mohali team along with Ness Wadia.

Chief executive of Daredevils’ franchise owners GMR Sports Yogesh Shetty said many entertainment packages had been conceptualised in consultation with Akshay for the 44-day tournament.

“Akshay’s personality matches the persona of the team. He is the first fan of the team. We have planned various entertainment packages with Akshay, but we cannot reveal it now,” he said.

However, Akshay, who is very choosy regarding his brand endorsements, said that the things that attracted him towards Daredevils were his city roots and love for the game.

“In my 18-year-old career I have endorsed only two brands — Coke and Grasim — because I feel that endorsing a product means one has to identify himself with the brand. This is my third endorsement and that’s because being a Delhite I can identify myself with the Daredevils,” said the charismatic actor.

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