Mumbai: While Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are still in contention to make it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, a defeat in their previous game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) has caused tension in the KXIP camp as the Preity Zinta, Bollywood actress and team’s co-owner, in an ugly confrontation, lashed out at former Team India opener and KXIP mentor Virender Sehwag. It is learnt that Sehwag may end his five-year long association with KXIP following the ongoing IPL season.
It is reported that Zinta, upset by the defeat, approached Sehwag as soon as the match got over and even before the players were back in the dressing room. She was not happy with the tactics and it apparently led to an altercation.
“Against Rajasthan Royals, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was sent in at number three, ahead of more accomplished batsmen such as Karun Nair and Manoj Tiwari. The move backfired as Ashwin fell for a duck, and Preity launched into Sehwag for the decision,” a source was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
The former Indian cricketer played it cool, initially. But as Zinta continued her tirade and blamed Sehwag for the defeat, he tried to put forth his point.
“However, when Preity continued to blame him, saying ‘unnecessary’ tinkering with the playing XI had led to a spate of defeats, Sehwag tried to reason with her,” added the source.
It is learnt that Sehwag had clearly told the other KXIP owners - Ness Wadia, and Mohit Burman – to keep Zinta in check as the Bollywood actress, in the past, had tried to interfere in the cricketing aspects of the team, which Sehwag looks into.
“Viru had told the other owners to rein in Preity. He told the owners that he’ll not comment on Preity’s acting chops and she should refrain from talking about his cricketing acumen,” a source close to KXIP said.
While Zinta reportedly lost her cool, Sehwag retained his composure. He has chosen not to comment on the issue so that the team does not lose its focus.
While those close to the IPL team conceded that Zinta was “upset” because of the defeat, they also said that the Zinta-Sehwag’s interaction was a “routine post-match conversation between the owner and the team mentor”.
The other KXIP owner, Burman, meanwhile, said that he spoke with Zinta and Sehwag and there’s no problem.
“But as far as I know, there is no problem. I have spoken to Viru and Preity,” said Burman....