Preity Zinta, a Bollywood actress, and owner of Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab has bought Stellenbosch Monarchs ahead of the upcoming inaugural season.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) was in a spot of bother after the Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited ended their interest in the franchise in early August, making the Monarchs the only team among the eight without an owner.
But Zinta has now bought the franchise, much to the relief of CSA. The Bollywood actress has now become the third Indian after Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders and GMR’s Delhi Daredevils to own a team in the upcoming league. Shah Rukh Khan owns the Cape Town-based franchise while GMR have secured the Johannesburg-based team.
Meanwhile, Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of CSA, has welcomed Zinta aboard and hoped that the addition of the actress would add value to the league.
“I am extremely proud to announce and warmly welcome Preity Zinta to South Africa and the T20 Global League family,” Haroon Lorgat.
“The introduction of a Bollywood star like Preity Zinta speaks volumes for the T20 Global League and finalises an eminent and enviable group of owners. Her experience and stardom will add value to the T20GL,” said Lorgat.
Zinta also expressed her delight over acquiring the team and said that the upcoming league would help the young talents to become world-class players.
“I would like to compliment and thank Haroon Lorgat from Cricket South Africa for his unrelenting persistence, passion & belief in the T20 Global league which inspired me to come on board,” said Zinta.
“I firmly believe that this is the most exciting time for young South African cricketing talent. This league will give them an opportunity to take the leap from becoming the best in the country to becoming the best in the world,” she added.
South Africa skipper and marquee player of the Monarchs Faf du Plessis was also excited to learn that the Kings XI Punjab owner has bought the team.
“I’m very excited to see that Preity Zinta has come on board. I have heard from my team mates that she is very good to work with, so I’m looking forward to working with her and seeing how she impacts our team space. She is also very passionate about the sport and I am sure local fans will have an awesome time at Boland Park,” Du Plessis said.
The Monarchs will open their campaign on 4 November at Boland Park against the Johannesburg Giants.