Joining the league of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, yet another Bollywood star has taken the the IPL plunge. Shilpa Shetty, along with London-based businessman Raj Kundra, has bought a 12 per cent stake in the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals. Shah Rukh owns Kolkata Knight Riders, while Preity Zinta has a stake in Kings XI Punjab.
Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra have invested as much as $15.4 million in Rajasthan Royals. The decision has come about as a recognition of Rajasthan Roytals success in last year’s IPL tourney. A purely strategic business investment, as Shilpa calls it, the pocketing of the team by the Bollywood actor will now back the team which is skippered by none other than Australian spin star Shane Warne. The Rajasthan Royals IPL team also boasts of the likes of cricketing superstars South African skipper Graeme Smith and Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson in its line up.
Shilpa Shetty’s decision is said to have been inspired by her fascination to a team which were seen as underdogs last year but later on emerged as superstar winners of the inaugural event. According to Shilpa, she relates to Rajasthan Royals considering that the story of the team is akin to her own story. The actor also said that Shetty she would be involved in the promotional activities of the cricket team this year. A music video is also on the anvil, if the grapevine is to be believed.
Meanwhile, the 2009 IPL season is picking up with reports suggesting that as many as 112 overseas players would be participating in the auction. However, only a maximum of two additional players, besides those foreign players who were brought on board last year, per franchisee, which would result in 16 players in all, are expected to be picked up out of the total 112 players available, said a media report.