Kolkata: Chances of a KKR vs Peshawar Zalmi (PZ) three-match T20 series look bleak with the KKR CEO, Venky Mysore clarifying that team owner, Shah Rukh Khan has not had any word with the CEO of the Pakistan Super League winners, Javed Afridi. According to a report in The Express Tribune, Afridi said the idea was suggested by the Bollywood superstar. The matches will be played at neutral venues once the two governments give a go-ahead to the series. However, in a later development, KKR’s CEO Mysore has denied the fact that Shah Rukh ever spoke to Afridi. Speaking to India Today, Mysore said, “I just had a word with Shah Rukh and he told me that he has been so busy shooting these days that he didn’t even know that any such league was happening in Pakistan or Dubai, let alone calling any franchise owner and congratulating him on winning the tournament.” The official Twitter Account of KKR refuted such claims and says that it won’t play any unauthorised games or leagues.
According to Afridi, the Bollywood superstar congratulated him on his team’s triumph and put forth the suggestion. “Shah Rukh has asked me to talk to the Pakistani government and he will talk to the Indian government himself,” Afridi said. Shah Rukh’s last release Raees had him starring opposite Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. Incidentally, Mahira was not allowed to promote the film in India by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Raees in fact, failed to get the green signal from the Censor Board in Pakistan and didn’t hit the theatres across the border.
Meanwhile, Afridi also claims that the PSL winners have accepted an invitation from the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani to travel to Kabul as a step towards normalising relations between the two countries. Afridi added, “The Kabul visit can play a role to bring peace between Afghanistan and Pakistan. And if the series against KKR materialises, I am sure it can help in improving relations between two countries as well.”
Sports and culture can play an important role in bridging the gap between the two nations. If Afghanistan despite its hostile equation with Pakistan, can invite a Pakistani team, India too can set an example but as of now all such hopes have been shattered with KKR refuting such claims by the PZ CEO. It remains to be seen how Afridi reacts to KKR’s statement.