Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday found himself in the centre of a controversy after a senior Cricket Board official alluded that cricket matches were being used by stars to promote films but the superstar hit back saying he does not have to depend on other’s platforms to push his films.
Khan said he was sad and disappointed over the remarks by Ratnakar Shetty that use of the platform of cricket for promoting films by stars is “slightly debatable” in the wake of his latest film Om Shanti Om coming up for discussion during a chat with TV commentator Rameez Raja at the recent Jaipur ODI cricket match between India and Pakistan.
Shetty however said film stars were welcome to watch cricket matches. BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said the Cricket Board has no objection to Khan or any other film personality coming to watch international cricket matches involving the national side.
A visibly hurt Khan said in Mumbai that “God has given me enough and I don’t crave publicity.”
“I went to watch the match for the love of sport, It is not in my nature to promote my films in others’ platforms,” he said.
“I don’t think it can be so strange that just because I am popular, I can’t take my children to watch a spectator sport without creating some kind of ill will or ill thought in the mind of people. I am very disappointed,” Khan said.
Khan wryly said, “Maybe I will just send the children next time and tell them not to say they are my children.”
Khan said he is not going to watch cricket matches in future if it has not gone well with the BCCI.
Khan said he had gone to watch the Jaipur watch for the love of the sport.
“My kids are fans of Sachin, Dhoni and Sourav,” he added.
Khan said his latest film came up during the Jaipur match proceedings when Rameez Raja said he and his family would like watch it.
So, it will be strange if film actors do not talk about films, he added.
Rajiv Shukla’s statement comes in the wake of a media report, which quoted a BCCI source saying the board officials are unhappy with King Khan as he is using cricket to promote his movies knowing that this is a “much bigger platform” than a private television station.
“The BCCI has no objection if any film star watches any of the matches involving the national team,” Shukla said.
“We do not think the players get distracted by the film stars or any other spectator,” he said.
Off-late Shah Rukh has been appearing in matches involving the Indian team. He was there to cheer the team in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and then again went to see the Twenty20 match against Australia in Mumbai, where Deepika Padukone –his co-star in his recent movie Om Shanti Om was also present. He was present in the last ODI against Pakistan in Jaipur as well and talked about his new movie in the commentary box.
He wanted to see the Kanpur ODI as well, but the local authorities vetoed the move saying it would be difficult for them to arrange for security and control the crowd.