NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An injury several years ago put paid to Shah Rukh Khan’s dream of a career in sports, but the Bollywood superstar hopes his investment in cricket’s Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) would help him make amends.
Companies paid millions of dollars last month to buy the eight franchises of the IPL, which begins on April 18. Khan was part of the consortium that clinched the Kolkata franchise for $75.09 million.
“Honestly, I can’t afford it,” the actor said at a press conference on Saturday. “And from the number-crunching there isn’t any great profit either. But that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to start new ventures.”
Khan’s passion for sports, exemplified by his role as a hockey coach in the 2007 blockbuster “Chak De India”, is well known.
“When I go to watch a cricket match, people say I am trying to promote my films. That’s not true. I love sports,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I injured my back when I was in Delhi. In fact, I started acting only because I couldn’t follow up on a career in cricket or soccer. I was a reasonably good player.”
Nearly two decades later, Khan is Bollywood’s biggest draw at the box-office and wants to use his fame and fortune to improve sports infrastructure in the country.
“God has given me status and money,” the actor said. “And instead of buying a plane and living an extravagant life, I want to invest money in sports.”
“I wish this team would make money so that I can create even more infrastructure for youngsters and possibly for other sports as well.”
Khan remained tight-lipped about which cricketers he wants to feature in his team.
“I don’t know much about the technical aspects of team-building. I’ll leave all decisions to the experts.”