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