Hyderabad: Juhi Chawla is still reveling in her recent IPL victory. The co-owner of two-time winning team Kolkata Knight Riders says, “It’s a victory for all of Kolkata. The first time when we won, we thought we were lucky. But the second time around, it has truly been a team effort.”
Despite being confident of her team, Juhi admits that the last few minutes of the match were nail biting. No one knew whether Punjab or Kolkata would clinch the trophy.
“I thought I was going to have a heart attack due to the pressure. Piyush Chawla was on fire! That evening I told him ‘Chawla did it for Chawla’. It was all worth it in the end though. The most memorable moment was being given the award by the Chief Minister,” she says.
Since her team didn’t fare too well at the Dubai and Abu Dhabi matches, Juhi avoided attending the rest. But she’s glad she made it to the finale.
“My son was with me and when Punjab scored 200 and the match was slipping away from us, he looked towards me and asked ‘Mummy do you think we will win?’ All I could say is, ‘Our boys will try. God doesn’t ask us to succeed, he only wants us to try’.
She adds that she felt a tad sorry for friend and owner of Kings IX Punjab, Preity Zinta especially since the match was so close. “Of course I am happy that our team won, but I have always admired Preity for being a strong owner, always being there for her team. Owning a team isn’t easy. I had told her that I want to see her team playing against ours in the finale and that is what happened.”
What was a bit of a dampener after the match, was the unfortunate stampede outside Eden Gardens where die hard fans of KKR clambered over police barricades to gain entry into the arena for the team’s felicitation ceremony. “That incident makes me sad and I feel bad for people caught in it. But I have to add that I have never seen such passion for the game anywhere else, neither Mumbai nor Delhi. Kolkata has a different kind of passion,” says the actress.
Trying to a get a slice of what goes on beyond the grounds, we asked her how Shah Rukh and she pep talked the boys. “We did have a team meeting few minutes before the boys went on the field. Shah Rukh, Venky Mysore (CEO and MD of KKR), my husband Jay Mehta and I were present.
We spoke with each one of them and offered our words of encouragement.”And what about the post victory celebrations? “The celebrations will continue for a few days. They’re not ending anytime soon,” she adds.