Pakistani cricketers have not been part of IPL after the first season. In the first season, the likes of Salman Butt, Shoeb Akhtar and Umar Gull were part of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Salman Butt played 7 games in the tournament and scored a fifty as well. But since the inaugural edition, Pakistani players have not featured in the cash-rich league.
Shahrukh Khan Was Nothing Like An Owner, He Was Very Down To Earth: Salman Butt
Kolkata Knight Riders was acquired by Red Chillies Entertainment and Juhi Chawla and her husband at approximately 2.98 billion rupees when the teams were announced.
The tournament kicked off with the first game between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore. KKR had an amazing start to the tournament but they couldn’t maintain the same momentum and lost their way in the middle of the tournament.
Salman Butt who joined the squad in the later stages of the tournament recalled his experience playing in the inaugural edition and also shared his experience of meeting with King Khan.
“Shahrukh Khan gave the Knight Riders helmet to all the players. It was a heavy one. Speaking about the owners, Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla were there. They mixed two of the biggest industries – Cricket and Bollywood,” he said on a YouTube video.
“The launch itself was a big hit because everything was under one roof. It was also a different experience for us and I remember meeting Shahrukh Khan in the dressing room. He was lying down on a kit bag while the entire team sat on a sofa, chatting with the players.”
“He is very down-to-earth, easy-going, and looked after the players. There was nothing like an owner,” he further stated.
Talking about how Shahrukh handled the team after the team lost a couple of games, he said: “I joined the team after five matches as Pakistan had a series with Bangladesh. When I reached, seven or eight games were remaining and I played five or six.
“That time, the team had lost two or three fixtures. He held a team meeting and spoke to the players for 15-20 minutes, trying to motivate them.”
“So, I think that part was also very good and different. It was coming from a guy who related life to cricket. So, I think he was very down to earth and somebody who you could speak to anything.”
The former Pakistani captain was banned after he was found guilty of spot-fixing on the tour to England in 2010.