Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan bought the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008 when a never-before-seen T20 league was launched in the country. It is the third most successful team in the IPL with two trophies and enjoys a massive fan base.
Back in 2008, KKR had some of the biggest names in the world of cricket during the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. As many as 11 Pakistani players were allowed to play in the inaugural edition but were later banned due to political tension.
Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt was also a part of Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2008 IPL T20 league. Even though he only played seven games and scored fifty runs, he now fondly remembers his time spent with Kolkata Knight Riders and its co-owner Shah Rukh Khan.
The former Pakistani cricketer recently appeared on Cricket Den’s YouTube channel and revealed an incident wherein the superstar SRK was lying on a kitbag in the dressing room while the players sat comfortably on a sofa. Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and Mohammad Hafeez were also part of KKR.
Salman Butt recalled, “Shah Rukh Khan gave the Knight Riders helmet to all the players. It was a heavy one. Speaking about the owners, Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla were there. They mixed two of the biggest industries – Cricket and Bollywood.”
“The launch itself was a big hit because everything was under one roof. It was also a different experience for us and I remember meeting SRK in the dressing room. He was lying down on a kit bag while the entire team sat on a sofa, chatting with the players. He is very down to earth, easy-going, and looked after the players. There was nothing like an owner,” Butt added.
Salman Butt also shared how Shah Rukh Khan motivated the players after the team lost a couple of opening fixtures. “I joined the team after five matches as Pakistan had a series with Bangladesh. When I reached, seven or eight games were remaining and I played five or six. That time, the team had lost two or three fixtures. He held a team meeting and spoke to the players for 15-20 minutes, trying to motivate them,” he said.