April 29,2009

Mumbai: Adding fuel to growing reports of apparent disharmony in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp, team owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan on Wednesday, ‘deserted the sinking ship’ and returned to India.

Talking to media-persons on landing at the Mumbai airport, Shah Rukh admitted that it had been painful for him to watch his team lose. “I am feeling sad for the boys because there is a lot of talent in the team. There is a lot of hard work to be done.”

Shah Rukh, who was expected to return to South Africa after casting his vote in April 30 General Elections, said that he will go back only when his team starts winning again. “If they do well I will go back.”

Kolkata Knight Riders are scheduled to play Vijay Mallya’s Bangalore Royal Challengers later on Thursday.

Shah Rukh backed current skipper Brendon McCullum as the right man to lead, but did admit that the Kiwi needed to get some runs under his belt. “McCullum is fantastic. I just think he needs to get cracking with the bat. He needs to get out this bad run and come back into form. But then I think he will get back and get out of it.”

The diplomatic Khan also praised Sourav Ganguly’s performance in South Africa. “As always Dada is doing fantastic and very well. But the team needs to click together so as soon as they do that then they will win.”

Shah Rukh is currently Indian film industry’s top superstar and is easily amongst the most media savvy actor ever. He is known to use every marketing ploy in the book to sell his movies. But for all the PR skills and media blitzkrieg that have been associated with his team, the Kolkata Knight Riders are languishing at the bottom rung of the IPL points table after dishing out one insipid performance after another.

Afterall, unlike in Bollywood, making runs matter more than just making news in cricket.