Mumbai, May 7 -- It was just a matter of choice for Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan back on May 16, 2012 when he decided not to step inside Wankede Stadium to watch his team Kolkata Knight Riders successfully defend their low total against the mighty Mumbai Indians.
He, however, turned up for the celebration after the match only to be banned for five years by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) following an ugly spate with a security guard and MCA officials. The stage is set once again for the big encounter at the Wankhede Stadium with defending champions KKR's hope of making it to the play-offs hanging by the thread.
But the film star cannot make a dramatic late entry, as he does in his Bollywood flicks, to inspire his team to victory.
Last year, his decision to stay away until the game was over might have been due to his busy schedule or simply superstition; his team had lost all their previous encounters at the venue.
While Kolkata is his adopted city, but Mumbai is the home of the badshah of Bollywood. So, it is only natural that he has always been eager for his team to do well at the home of cricket, Wankhede, which is just a 30-minute drive away from his residence, Mannat. So, the needle was always there.
Shah Rukh's absence last year proved a blessing in disguise for the Knight Riders, who managed to break Wankhede jinx after losing their five previous matches at the venue, including the vital play-off in 2011.
But that's not the case this time. With the MCA refusing to budge, the actor is left with no choice but to cheer his team from outside the stadium.
Shah Rukh, who expressed regret for the incident a few days ago, had also said he will cheer his team from outside the venue.
But MCA, which is also not willing to consider revoking its decision until Shah Rukh apologises directly to the cricket body, confirmed they have again notified the police of the decision not to allow him entry.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.