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Cricket: England's Cricketers Flintoff, Pietersen Join IPL At Record Prices

6 Feb

GOA, India – England’s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff joined the Indian Premier League on Friday as its most expensive players after being auctioned for 1.55 million dollars each.

Pietersen was bought by liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s Bangalore Royal Challengers at a televised auction in this popular holiday resort, while Flintoff went for the same price to Chennai Super Kings.

Both players broke the existing record of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was purchased by the Chennai franchise for 1.50 million dollars last year.

Pietersen and Flintoff will, however, receive only half their money as England players are available for just the first three weeks of the lucrative six-week Twenty20 tournament.

Tournament rules stipulate that payments are made on a pro-rata basis for matches played. This year’s contracts are for a two-year period.

“A player like Kevin is a great buy for us,” said a beaming Mallya, whose team finished seventh out of eight teams in the inaugural edition of the tournament last year.

“He is one of the most explosive batsmen in the world and will bring a lot of class to our team.”

Indian cricket board secretary N. Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings, said he was delighted to have all-rounder Flintoff on board.

“Twenty20 cricket is a game for all-rounders and Flintoff is one of the best in the business,” said Srinivasan, whose team entered last year’s final where they lost to the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals.

As many as 50 players threw their hat in the ring for the 17 slots available to franchises, but the unlucky ones could still make the grade at a later date to replace the absent Pakistan cricketers.

IPL franchises terminated the contracts of six Pakistanis and put on hold four others after the Pakistan government refused them permission to play in India for security reasons.

Young South African Jean-Paul Duminy confirmed his rising stature in the sport when Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians, owned by industrialist Mukesh Ambani, bought him for 950,000 dollars.

Rajasthan Royals, partly owned by Bollywood actress and British reality TV star Shilpa Shetty, created a stir when they picked up ageing South African Tyron Henderson for a whopping 650,000 dollars.

All-rounder Henderson, 34, has played just one international match — a Twenty20 game against India in 2006 — but has turned out consistent performances for his English county Middlesex.

Bangladesh seamer Mashrafe Mortaza, whose base price was 50,000 dollars, went to Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders for 600,000 dollars despite a strong challenge from Kings XI Punjab.

No Indian player featured in the auction since they were already snapped up last year.

The second edition of the tournament, featuring the eight teams owned by tycoons, film stars and leading business houses, will be played across India in April-May.

– AFP/ir

Channel News Asia

Coolest Dad

19 Jun

Coolest dad

SRK is Daddy Cool in tinseltown!

Shah Rukh Khan with his son Aryan

Shah Rukh Khan is the coolest dad in tinsletown. In a recent survey conducted amongst kids by Nick as part of the Father’s day special promotion, “Daddy Cool Contest”, the King Khan of Bollywood, Shah Rukh has topped the charts and proved that he truly does rule over the hearts of little kids.

Nick conducted the “Daddy Cool Contest” on their website for Father’s Day, wherein kids had to choose their favourite celebrity dad from Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan.

Nick’s Daddy Cool contest proved to be a success with over 6000 kids from across India voting for their favourite celeb dads. At No 2 is the Khiladi action hero dad Akshay Kumar, with Hrithik Roshan at No 3 and Saif Ali Khan standing at No. 4 position

And to all the fathers out there who aren’t Superstars, don’t dismay … After all for the apple of your eye, you will always be the Superstar ‘Daddy Cool’!

Hindu On Net

Superstar Shahrukh Says His Next Movie Will Be A Comedy

30 Sep

Indian cinema’s superstar Shahrukh Khan says he has enough of playing nice roles.

He is now aiming for something totally wacky, like a nonsensical comedy!

Shahrukh shared his plans with Channel NewsAsia in an exclusive interview in Singapore.

The heart-throb is in Singapore as the global brand ambassador of India’s second largest bank, ICICI Bank Limited.

He visited the bank’s office in Republic Plaza and Raffles Place, where he met the staff and took questions on his career and his latest movie which is about to be released next month.

Shahrukh also signed autographs and posed for photographs with the staff, most of whom said it was their lifetime dream to meet the actor who has starred in nearly 60 films and has billions of fans from around the world.

Suvek Nambiar, General Manager, Chief Executive of ICICI Bank Limited (Singapore Branch), said: “He’s created a terrific fan following all over the world. His appeal crosses national borders. We feel we are in the phase where we are going out; we’ve been in the international market for three years and the association is going to do wonders.”

Shahrukh said: “As far as my greatest achievement is concerned, I like to get up in the morning and believe I yet have to do it and I truly believe that. I don’t think what I have done, achieved… on it…is going to achieve any purpose. I think you have to wake up every morning and say, ‘ok, today I’m going to achieve the greatest thing of my life’.”

You can catch more of that interview on Channel NewsAsia’s Primetime Morning, soon. – CNA/ir

Channel News Asia