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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Indian Premier League: KKR's magic potion, stirred by families, shaken by Shah Rukh Khan

It was the final time the players and support staff had gathered for the season and Shah Rukh, in his inimitable style, delivered a crisp but firm talk which was enough to motivate the players

Indranil Majumdar Chennai Published 28.05.24, 10:07 AM
Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri with the IPL trophy.

Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri with the IPL trophy. KKR

Shah Rukh Khan had a simple message for the players before they left the team hotel for the IPL final against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

“Do it for your family,” he told the players at ITC Grand Chola’s team room in what was a very heartening moment for all.

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It was the final time the players and support staff had gathered for the season and Shah Rukh, in his inimitable style, delivered a crisp but firm talk which was enough to motivate the players.

Kolkata Knight Riders lift the IPL 2024 squad at the Chepauk on Sunday.

Kolkata Knight Riders lift the IPL 2024 squad at the Chepauk on Sunday. X

“Forget yourself, forget what a victory means to you, just go out there and do it for your families who will be proud of your deeds... You will feel blessed,” he told Shreyas Iyer and his team, according to a KKR support staff.

Shah Rukh’s presence among them despite being laid low by dehydration and viral infection during Qualifier 1 in Ahmedabad was significant in uplifting the players’ spirits. “They seemed focused on their goal and nothing short of a victory would have left them satisfied,” the source said.

KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit lifts captain Shreyas Iyer after the victory.

KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit lifts captain Shreyas Iyer after the victory. X

The talk had been preceded by a video presentation where the family members of every player had appealed to them to go out and give their best.

“None of the players were aware of this video and they were taken by surprise at seeing their mom, dad and even some of the players’ grandparents coming forward to wish them luck. It moved them since it happened just before they boarded the team bus,” the official said.

The party continued into the early hours of Monday though Shah Rukh didn’t join them all. He had returned to his suite after spending a few minutes with the players in the team room.

(Picture left) One of the key Knights this season, Phil Salt, back on England duty, joins in on the celebrations on video call and (pictures above) Man of the Match Mitchell Starc with Venkatesh Iyer and KKR's Caribbean stars Andre Russell and Sunil Narine with the franchise's third IPL trophy.

(Picture left) One of the key Knights this season, Phil Salt, back on England duty, joins in on the celebrations on video call and (pictures above) Man of the Match Mitchell Starc with Venkatesh Iyer and KKR's Caribbean stars Andre Russell and Sunil Narine with the franchise's third IPL trophy.

The Bollywood Badshah had initially restricted himself with his full family to the corporate box in the Karunanidhi Pavilion of the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday following the victory. But once the celebrations started, he couldn’t hold himself back since the occasion called for his presence.

Sprinting onto the ground, he joined his band of merry men for an impromptu jig even as wife Gauri kept insisting on him to put the face mask on. He then joined the players for a victory lap.

“Ten years later we are the boss,” Manish Pandey, who was part of the 2014 winning team, told the principal owner as he held him in a tight hug.

Shah Rukh urged the players to imitate Harshit Rana’s flying kiss gesture during the trophy photoshoot. Rana had first done it to send back Sunrisers Hyderabad batter Mayank Agarwal at Eden Gardens. The act earned the wrath of the match officials after a similar animated celebration against Delhi Capitals batter Abhishek Porel.

Mentor Gautam Gambhir with wife Natasha and daughters Aazeen and Anaiza; and (picture right) Varun Chakravarthy with wife Neha Khedekar and their infant on Sunday

Mentor Gautam Gambhir with wife Natasha and daughters Aazeen and Anaiza; and (picture right) Varun Chakravarthy with wife Neha Khedekar and their infant on Sunday X

In a video posted by the broadcasters, Shah Rukh can be heard saying, “The whole team has to stand with me and I will say 3 to 1 and everyone will have to do this.”

Following this, Rana hugged and lifted Shah Rukh saying, “Mereko toh kal raat bhi 102 bukhaar tha sir (I had fever last night as well).”

Rinku credited Shah Rukh and Gambhir for the turnaround. “Outstanding feeling right now. Dream has come true... It was God’s plan,” Rinku said after the match.

If Andre Russell turned emotional since it was the first time he was part of the playing XI in their title triumph — he didn’t get to play the 2014 final against Punjab Kings — captain Shreyas didn’t want to part with the trophy, his first as captain of any team.

He had the trophy next to him on Monday afternoon when he went for a swim. “Wherever, whenever. We’re meant to be together,” KKR said on X with a picture of Shreyas standing at the edge of the pool with the trophy.

The players dispersed on Monday and a get-together isn’t planned as of now.

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