The film stars who own various teams in the IPL invariably make it a point to be with their team when their team is involved in action on the ground. But Shah Rukh Khan so far has made an exception! He has not been seen in either of the matches that his team has played in Mumbai or even in other centres. He is a part of the team dug out only for the matches in Kolkata and that too in the form of a guest appearance, mixing with his guests rather than with the players. Is there more to meet than the eyes? In the matches in Mumbai and at other centres it is Jai Mehta, Juhi Chawla’s husband and other owner who is a regular part of the dug out.
Now compare this situation with other owners, who make it a point to be a part of the dug out, more specifically, Neeta Ambani and Vijay Mallya. They sweat it out and are a part of the squad throughout the proceedings. They also keenly follow the game. A case in point can bye sighted from the match between Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers, where Shikhar Dhawan needed a new pair of gloves and as the camera panned towards Neeta Ambani, she was seen directing her support staff to pass on the gloves to Shikhar Dhawan at the earliest. It was also worthwhile to note that even Reliance India Chairman was seen sitting in the dugout along with the team managers to boost the moral of the players of his team as also to cheer up her wife as well.
Shilpa Shetty is also in the same league with Shah Rukh Khan and maintains a detached distance from her squad in the dug out; it is the managers and the coach who form a part of the dug out. Preity Zinta on the other hand is another owner who makes it a point to hang out with her squad.
It does not need an emphasis to underline that the presence of the owners in the dug out instills a sense of confidence among the players and the towering presence of the owner’s eggs on the players to lift their performance to a higher level. Incidentally, same maxim is applicable in case of Chennai Super Kings as well, whose bran icon Krishnamachari Srikkanth prefers to sit in the VIP enclosures rather than being in the dug out.
The moot point of the argument is that it being a high pressure game, a pat from the owners and an encouragement motivates the players while their absence from the dugouts could be the demotivating factor.
By: Suman Rai