Friday April 18, 2008
Amidst a lot of glitzy imported cheerleadering, the Indian Premier League (IPL) - the 44-day Twenty20 event - kicked off in Bangalore between Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders and Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers Bangalore. A weekend down, the emphasis of the event seems to be clearly focussed more towards the stands than the players. And the star so far is clearly Shah Rukh Khan whose presence at both the matches played by his team so far has kept the limelight clearly on him. That he is accompanied by the likes of "personal friends", such as the Gandhi kids, doesn't really harm his cause either. His franchise is being termed the Manchester United of the IPL, and from highest celebrity quotient, business acumen, personal involvement with the team and the works, he would seem to have managed it all quite well. IPL stakeholders say he’s overshadowed the flamboyant Vijay Mallya on the entertainment front and Mukesh Ambani on the business front. At least, so far...

PTI Photo