Shilpa Shetty gets $15.4m Valentine’s Day gift

Money can’t buy you love but it sure comes in handy if you’re getting your girlfriend a Valentine’s Day present.

Which is exactly what UK-based businessman and Shilpa Shetty’s boyfriend Raj Kundra learnt when he forked out $15.4 million (about Rs 75 crore) for an 11.7% stake in Rajasthan Royals, the first season champs of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“It is a very expensive gift,” said Shilpa. “I trusted Raj’s business acumen and am really proud to be the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals. Being brand ambassador for this team, both our name and our money are at stake. But this is the most reliable team and they take the game very seriously.”

Asked if the couple’s decision had anything to do with the Royals winning last year’s final, Shilpa said, “I had bet on this team last season. Plus, the Rajasthan Royals have a huge fan following not only in India but also in the UK where Raj stays. So it was a well thought out decision.” Shilpa also has another reason to back the Royals.

“They were considered the underdogs — just like I was. That’s also why I backed them from the word go. My association is meant to raise the brand value of the team, making sure the focus doesn’t shift from the game.”

The actress will soon be launching a talent hunt for cheerleaders for the Royals. “My Bollywood experience will help me contribute to the music video, merchandising and other publicity.”

Boyfriend Raj is only talking business. “I’m planning to shift base to Mumbai and this was the first business venture I decided to plunge into. Rajasthan Royals is the hot favourite in the UK and with Shilpa coming on board, the popularity of the team can only soar higher.”

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