By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) Bollywood is proud that Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta have helped filmdom forge a lifetime's bond with cricket with the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions.
The industry reacts:
Bipasha Basu: "It's fantastic that Preity and Shah Rukh now own a part of the team. If you have the money and the interest in the game, why not invest? I think it's great for our country because ample infrastructure can be invested into strengthening of the teams and the players. And Bollywood into cricket means more fun for viewers when the league matches happen.
Shekhar Kapoor: If I knew about the IPL I'd have bid for it too. It's perfect!!
Javed Akhtar: When I first heard about it my reaction was, 'Wow!' I'm very proud of Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan, particularly SRK. He has done it on his own.
Hema Malini: It's wonderful to see our film industry extending its wings to other territories. It just shows that entertainment is no longer restricted to the cinema.
Naseeruddin Shah: I couldn't care less.
Irrfan Khan: To me, it just shows that there's lots and lots of money in cricket.
Arshad Warsi: With all this, I feel I'm in Hollywood. It's superb.
Mahesh Bhatt: Mixing two colours to create a third one is always exciting. This is the age of entertainment. This alliance of cricket and movies ushers in a new brave world. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
Simi Garewal: I'm very pleased that the stars are coming out in support of sports. I feel cricketers are at the top and financially well rewarded. I would be happier if they support less popular games like chess, hockey, football and tennis. It would make India an all-round sports force to reckon with. In this context, it's wonderful to know Akshay Kumar is supporting wrestling.
Zayed Khan: I think it's great investment and an indication of forward thinking. The amount Rs. 300 crore sounds like something we'd all like to make.
Sameera Reddy: I think it's a fantastic alliance. It's important to invest wisely and this is definitely a sound business move for both Bollywood and cricket.
Madhavan: Well, when the two biggest passions of the country come together, it has to be a super-alliance. I want to see where cricket goes from here.
Nandana Sen: This is more about business than entertainment. And I don't understand business. But I'm always happy to see more cricket on television. That's what this alliance will lead to.
Neil Mathur: I guess talent has found talent. Only good can come out of this alliance.
Aftab Shivdasani: Personally, I think it was expected. There has always been some sort of link between Bollywood and cricket. This alliance can only take the two industries further.
Vashu Bhagnani: It's a great business opportunity. Bollywood and cricket provoke maximum passion in India. The combination has to be lethal.
Nikhil Dwivedi: I can speak for Shah Rukh since I know him well. He is an extremely intelligent and sensible man and has genuine passion for every sport. He won't treat cricket as a business venture and will invest everything he has into making the game a force to reckon with.
You can rest assured about one thing. With Shah Rukh around, spectators will get their money's worth. You take it from me. Shah Rukh will rule even in the world of cricket.
Victor Banerjee: "Gulli-danda" was a plebian pastime that the British elevated with the willow into Lords. Cricket in India is largely played by the sportingly incompetent.
There's a just a handful of tough exceptions. Don't give me a bellyache by saying we are a 'sporting' nation of 'sportsmen'. We're a nation of businessmen who have destroyed the game with its worldwide corruption centred in India.
The reason we love cricket is because it's dependent on the vagaries of fiddling with the ball, rain that determines decisions, ground conditions that can be tweaked and the odd upwardly mobile player willing to accept a bundle under the table and even on a flight. We were wonderful in hockey and even winners of the gold medal in football in the 1st Asian Games when my father who couldn't play for the team because of his commitment to the Indian army was a selector.
It's hilarious that we take the Australian Kerry Packer's resurrection of an idiotic colonial game so seriously.