Bollywood star won’t miss her African safari
Stellenbosch Kings owner ‘loves’ Hashim Amla
BOLLYWOOD star Preity Zinta has assured Cape cricket fans that she will be in the stands to support her local T20 team, the Stellenbosch Kings, despite her busy schedule.
Zinta, 42, has a new movie to promote, along with several model shoots.
“I’m a hands-on person, so I definitely will be here (in November),” she said yesterday.
Zinta, who also owns Indian Premier League team, the Kings XI Punjab, was in South Africa this week to unveil her T20 Global League franchise.
“It’s not the cricket part that I am worried about because we have the best in the business. But I am worried about all the other things, the teething problems that come with first-time experience, so I need to make sure I am here,” she said.
“Also, my husband and my family will be coming because we all want to go for a safari and for a lovely wine-tasting trip. Everyone is really excited.”
Zinta has high hopes for her side in the debut Global League competition: “I feel like a kid in a candy store. I’ve been in this business, but in India it’s a different ball game compared to South Africa.
“So even though I know what it’s like to run the business, the fact that you going to a new country, adapting to a new culture... I am a little bit nervous, but so grateful for the way things turned out.”
Zinta added: “We have a fantastic bowling line-up, a lot of young talented players, and some hard hitters.
“We are also very fortunate to have Faf du Plessis captaining the team and to have coaches like Eric Simons and Stephen Fleming is a blessing, so I am thrilled and confident that we will do well.”
Zinta has a soft spot for South African cricketers.
“The reason why myself and many other cricket lovers from India love South African cricketers is because of their attitude towards the game.”
“I love Hashim Amla, he plays for Kings XI. When I first met him he was the most quiet guy. He inspires all the youngsters. He doesn’t say much, but let’s his bat do the talking.”
Zinta wasn’t always a cricket fan: “I never watched any cricket growing up. I never liked it. In school, I did everything besides cricket.”
Her interest in the game began when she bought the Kings XI Punjab in 2008.
“I knew nothing about the game. But I was very eager to learn. So I made a barter deal with one of the fielding coaches from Kings XI. I told him that I would teach him one thing about film every day if he teaches me one thing about cricket.
“Everyday he taught me one thing, like what’s an off-spinner, a leg-spinner, a bouncer, what does an LBW mean, just basic stuff about cricket.
“After 10 years I’ve learnt a lot, but I wouldn’t say I’m an expert.”