PAARL – New owner, new name, new colours – that’s the effect of having Bollywood superstar Preity Zinta in charge of a cricket team!
Held at the stunning Val de Vie Estate, nestled between Paarl and Franschhoek, Preity launched her T20 Global League franchise with much fanfare on Wednesday, and immediately proved that she is not just all glitz and glam as she renamed the team Stellenbosch Kings – in line with her IPL franchise the Kings XI Punjab.
Previously named the Stellenbosch Monarchs, the Kings will also sport the familiar red, gold and grey colours of their IPL cousins.
In interesting difference for the Stellenbosch Kings logo, though, is a golden lion in the middle, which Preity said identifies the team with South Africa, while the gold “is for shopping!”
She said that a chance meeting with Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat resulted in her taking the opportunity to be involved with the T20 Global League, which starts on November 3 at Newlands.
“I was in Dubai for some work, and I bumped into Haroon in the hotel, and we started talking about it, and that was it! I really do believe in this format (T20 cricket),” Preity said.
Lorgat said: “Preity is analytical, knowledgeable and experienced, being a co-owner in the IPL. She knows what she wants and has the vision to make it all happen, including the financial planning and brand-building that goes with owning a team.”
Apart from Kings assistant coach Eric Simons and players such as Justin Ontong and Henry Davids, a number of other South African sports stars were present, including team ambassador Paul Adams, Jean de Villiers, Cameron van der Burgh, Ryk Neethling, Omar Henry, Rob Louw and his daughter Roxy, and Charl Langeveldt.
The Kings’ first match in the T20 Global League will be against the Jo’burg Giants on Saturday, November 4 at Boland Park in Paarl (2.30pm start).