Kolkata Knight Riders owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan hopes his team will win the IPL title this season and return to the Eden Gardens again, not to play a match but to celebrate with the silverware. Busy with his film shooting schedule, Shah Rukh could only be seen in KKR’s last appearance at the Eden that ended in heartbreak with Mumbai Indians beating them by nine runs last night. “The way the crowd has supported us in every match, we will try our best to return here again — with the trophy,” Shah Rukh said while leaving Eden Gardens post-midnight after the rain-delayed match. The two-time champions have suffered four losses in five games but still made the last-four by virtue of their healthy net run-rate +0.641, which is only second to table toppers Mumbai Indians (+0.784).
“We lost closely in a few matches. It’s difficult now but that’s even better. We have to win three matches now (Eliminator, Playoff, and Final),” he said, as KKR head to Bengaluru for their match on May 19. “It was the last match in Kolkata and a bit unfortunate that none of them will be here. But even if we don’t return again to play a match this season, God-willing we will come back with the Trophy.”
Shah Rukh profusely praised the purple supporters for backing the team in highs and lows in the 10 editions with KKR winning the title twice in 2012 and 2014. “All stadiums are good across India. But their full capacity is our half capacity. We always had a full house, even when we were not doing well in earlier seasons,” he said.
“We have had lows and highs, some pain and joy. I think we could achieve all these because Kolkata supported us throughout even when we were down. Kolkata gave us the same support when we were not doing well. “The attachment from Kolkata fans is helping us moving forward. We will forever remain purple. I really wanted to tell everyone that I was busy in work and could not come earlier,” he said. “My daughter first came here as seven years old when we first played here, and she could not come this time because of her exams. Everyone says that this atmosphere is never seen anywhere in the world. My kids have an attachment to the city.”
Shah Rukh hoped to follow the team in the playoffs in their quest for a record third title. “I don’t give the team any message. I just hug them and wish them fitness and all the best. I’m here to give them love. We have an experienced coaching staff and senior players to guide the team. I just come to give them hug,” he signed off.