‘KKR encountering Peshawar Zalmi was a conjectural issue’

 Rohit Reshammiya Hashmi

Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders rejected all reports about the Bollywood superstar offering to hold a three-match series with Pakistan Super League champions Peshawar Zalmi. “KKR won’t be playing any unauthorized games/leagues as some false reports are claiming. No such communication happened from our end,” the franchise said on Twitter.

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The refusal came hours after Zalmi CEO Javed Afridi claimed SRK (Shah Rukh Khan), who is the co-owner of KKR, called him to congratulate over his team’s victory and suggested a three-match series at a neutral venue. While confirming SRK’s offer, Afridi revealed both team owners would talk to their respective government regarding the series. “Shah Rukh has asked me to talk to the Pakistani government and he will talk to the Indian government himself,” he said.

However, denying the reports, KKR CEO Venky Mysore told an Indian daily that SRK was not even aware that any such league was happening in Dubai, “I just had a word with Shah Rukh and he told me that he has been so busy shooting these days that he didn’t even know that any such league was happening in at any neutral venue, let alone calling any franchise owner and congratulating him on winning the tournament,” Mysore added.

However, soon after KKR’s denial, Afridi also backtracked on his statement and said “there is no truth” in the reports and they are mere ‘speculations’. Peshawar Zalmi lifted the Pakistan Super League trophy by virtue of its 58-run victory over the Quetta Gladiators on Sunday night. Earlier, Afridi said the venue of the series would be decided once the governments of both countries give their go-ahead for the proposed series.

He also confirmed that he has received congratulatory messages from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Bollywood actors Sanjay Kapoor and Gulshan Grover.

President Ghani has already invited the Zalmi team to Kabul, which was accepted by the franchise, and they will be traveling to Afghanistan’s capital in the summer this year with all the big names including Shahid Afridi.

Zalmi’s CEO further added that his franchise is trying to bring peace in the region, and is hoping that the visit to Kabul and a series against KKR can prove to be a major step towards achieving the goal.

“The Kabul visit can play a role to bring peace between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he added. “And if the series against KKR materializes, I am sure it can help in improving relations between two countries as well.”

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