When defending champion Chennai Super Kings take on the worst team of 2010 Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of the IPL 2011, the battle lines will be drawn off the field too, between the owners of both team – Shahrukh Khan and N Srinivasan. Shahrukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, is the face of India on international arena. While N Srinivisan, the BCCI person in CSK camp, is the face of Indian Cricket Management.
Despite many criticism related to Modi’s ouster and Srinivasan’s role in IPL, holding dual positions (one with BCCI, other as owner of CSK team) N Srinivasan has emerged victorious and is one of the most powerful BCCI representative. He has won many battles in the last one year, and emerged victorious and unscathed so far. His presence will surely add some more jewels to CSK’s already shining showcase.
CSK has one of the best captains on helm. But, they may have been benefitted by Srinivasan’s presence too, as being a successfu administrator his thought process must be useful. No wonder CSK is the most successful team of the first three editions of Indian Premier League from 2008-1010.
Shahrukh Khan, as he claims, is primarily an entertainer. His team Kolkata Knight Riders started with Ganguly, successful and aggressive Indian captain but controversial too, at helm. His team was the first to claim profits even in first IPL edition of 2008 while teams, after heavy expenditure in setting the team up, were expected to start having income at least from next edition. His charm as entertainer has helped the Kolkata Knight riders become one of the most popular team. Although the controversies surrounding Ganguly, Buchanan and the Fake IPL player also helped it get Global attention. Unfortunately, despite all the entertainment and profitable business, as a cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders team remains the only team, among the 8 IPL teams playing last 3 editions, to have never qualified for the knockout rounds.
The entertainer Khan always maintained that he does not interfere in Cricketing decisions of the team. Kolkata Knight Riders, not surprisingly, did not retain any players before IPL 2011 auction. Instead it went for a complete revamp. On paper, now they look the best team of 2011. Yet, the first target will be to reach at least the knockout. Considering the strong team they have, if they can break the forgettable record of never reaching the semifinals, probably SRK the entertainer will have the last laugh in IPL 2011. He is already waiting to have that hearty laugh for the last three years.
The inaugral match of 2011 IPL edition will be played between Srinivasan’s team and Shahrukh’s team. Although, in the last 6 matches played between them in last 3 edition, CSK holds a strong edge, but KKR has revamped itself to start a new campaign, and setting record straight against defending champion Chennai Super Kings can be the best start.