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Problems related to IPL affect the franchises: Preity Zinta

Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta feels that every year problems related to the Indian Premier League “do affect” the franchise as a brand and its business as the cash-rich league has become some sort of a “whipping boy”. “Yes, it does affect the brand and it is unfair to the owners. It affects our business as every year there is some controversy or some rumours that come up. I believe at one level IPL has become a whipping boy for many,” Zinta told PTI during an interaction on the issue of Maharashtra drought that led to shifting of 13 matches. It must be noted that in 2013, IPL was rocked by spot-fixing scandal due to alleged involvement of three Rajasthan Royals cricketer including former India international turned politician S Sreesanth. In 2014, IPLs first half was held in United Arab Emirates due to the general elections in the country. In 2015 after the IPL was held, two franchises CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two years for their involvement in spot-fixing scandal. The well-known Bollywood actress feels that it has been unfair as IPL has not only provided a platform for the emerging talent, but also created a window for franchise-based leagues in other sports in the country. “Thanks to the IPL, we now have a Kabaddi League, the ISL, the Badminton League, the Hockey league (HIL).” While she made it clear that she has complete faith in the judiciary, Zinta questioned those who have filed PIL regarding usage of water to maintain stadiums in drought-hit Maharashtra. “I have complete respect for the judiciary. But I have a question as to what all those people who have filed PIL done to resolve this crisis in Maharashtra. Let me tell you that I have worked extensively in a Maharashtra village for the well-being of elderly people. This is not as KXIP owner or as an actress but it is as Preity the person that I am. This is my responsibility towards the society,” said Zinta. Kings XI Punjab have not performed well last season and it hasnt been a great start to IPL-9 either but the co-owner is confident that they will do better than last year. “We stuck to our core team despite last years performance as this is the same group that got us in the final in 2014. Last year, our bowling was a bit weak but we have tried to strengthen that area. I am hopeful that we would be doing well,” she sounded optimistic. PTI