KING OF SPOIL­SPORTS

The ac­tor faces a ban af­ter an ugly spat with of­fi­cials at Mum­bai’s Wankhede Sta­dium

India Today - - NATION - By Kiran Tare

Aamir Khan has rein­vented him­self as the celebrity Anna Hazare. Sal­man Khan has re­vived his ca­reer on the back of his mus­cu­lar physique. But the third Khan, Shah Rukh, has be­come the king of con­tro­versy. On May 16, he abused and man­han­dled of­fi­cials at Mum­bai’s Wankhede Sta­dium af­ter his team Kolkata Knight Riders de­feated Mum­bai In­di­ans by 35 runs be­cause they would not let him en­ter the sta­dium af­ter the match was over. Stunned ob­servers al­leged he was in a “drunken state”.

In a hastily or­gan­ised me­dia brief­ing at his Mum­bai home, Shah Rukh de­fended him­self, say­ing the Mum­bai Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion ( MCA) of­fi­cials were “high handed”. He de­nied he was drunk and said he had been forced to use abu­sive lan­guage in “anger” be­cause MCA of­fi­cials “man­han­dled” him when he had gone to pick up his chil­dren and their friends at 11.45 p. m. af­ter the match. He said the se­cu­rity per­son­nel were “push­ing lit­tle girls”. He said the MCA owed him an apol­ogy and added that it had be­come fash­ion­able to “blame celebri­ties”.

But the threat of a life ban now hov­ers over Shah Rukh, whose as­so­ci­a­tion with cricket is own­er­ship of the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL team. Ac­cord­ing to MCA trea­surer Ravi Sawant, who was present: “Khan was drunk. He got an­gry when the se­cu­rity guards stopped him from go­ing in. He slapped them. When I in­ter­vened he man­han­dled me too,” said Sawant. Ac­cord­ing to Sawant, Shah Rukh also pushed a po­lice of­fi­cer. Mum­bai po­lice have sought CCTV footage to get to the bot­tom of the in­ci­dent.

Shah Rukh’s pow­er­ful friends have started the process of for­giv­ing the un­for­give­able. IPL Com­mis­sioner Ra­jiv Shukla said, “No decision will be taken un­til both sides are heard.” Treat that as the old tac­tic of buy­ing time, and hop­ing ev­ery­one will for­get.

SHAH RUKH DE­NIES HE WAS DRUNK AND SAYS HE ABUSED WHEN PRO­VOKED.

Ini­tial re­ports sug­gested that Shah Rukh also abused Vi­las­rao Desh­mukh, who was ex­it­ing af­ter watch­ing the match with his fam­ily. Desh­mukh, who is pres­i­dent of the MCA, de­nies he was present. “The man­ag­ing com­mit­tee will de­cide what ac­tion is to be taken against Khan. The com­mit­tee has sug­gested ban­ning him,” he said.

In­deed. Sawant says the as­so­ci­a­tion will “not al­low him to watch any one day in­ter­na­tional, test match or IPL match for life.” This is not the first time the ac­tor has dis­in­te­grated in public. In Jan­uary, the ac­tor slapped good friend Farah Khan’s hus­band, di­rec­tor Shirish Kun­der, at a night­club in Mum­bai. In typ­i­cal Bollywood fash­ion, the two later hugged and made up af­ter in­ter­ven­tion by friends such as ac­tor San­jay Dutt.

In July 2008, Shah Rukh had a vi­cious ar­gu­ment with Sal­man Khan at a sub­ur­ban res­tau­rant. The oc­ca­sion was the birth­day of Sal­man’s then girl­friend, Ka­t­rina Kaif. Kaif is now work­ing with Shah Rukh.

Will cricket be as for­giv­ing of bad be­hav­iour as Bollywood?

KHAN AT­WANKHEDE STA­DIUM IN MUM­BAI

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