Confessing that the Twenty20 format of cricket was new to her, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty is not just hoping that her Rajasthan Royals will take home the IPL trophy again this year she also wants to learn more about the short form of the game from the side’s coach and captain, Australian Shane Warne.
“It’s a totally new ball game,” Shetty, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, told the daily The Times.
“I don’t know the nitty gritty and statistics. So I just look to (her co-owner of the team) Manoj Badale to answer those questions.
“And I have huge respect for Shane Warne”, Shetty added, expressing the hope of learning more from him.
Shetty was the first Bollywood star to appear in public to support their respective teams when she made a brief stopover in Johannesburg a fortnight ago.
On Sunday she was back, helping bolster team spirits ahead of the opening game against Bangalore Royal Challengers at Sahara Newlands Stadium in the first double header on Saturday. The teams will square up after the inaugural game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings earlier in the day.
Shetty is one of several Bollywood stars that locals are excited about seeing at cricket venues across the country as the five-week tournament takes off. Shah Rukh Khan was due here Tuesday afternoon to boost the morale of his Kolkata Knight Riders that he owns with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jai Mehta, and Akshay Kumar is also in the city as the franchise face of Delhi Daredevils.
Others expected within the next few days are Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone, the franchise faces of Royal Challengers Bangalore; Mumbai Indians brand ambassador Hrithik Roshan; Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta; and Tamil star Vijay, the franchise face of Chennai Super Kings.