After having bid $76 million, Shah Rukh Khan officially presented his IPL team of Kolkata Knight Riders at a press meet in the eastern metro on March 11, 2008. Led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, the Knight Riders will go into the IPL battlefield with ‘Korbo, Lorbo, Jitbo’ as the warcry.
Speaking at the press meet, Khan said, “A lot of effort has gone into setting up this team. It will be a good opportunity for a lot of players, including me, and I hope the people of West Bengal will help make this a success.”
As to why Knight Riders was chosen as the team name, SRK explained, “We have consciously kept a name that would appeal to the youth brigade. The theme song will also appeal to the youth.”
The theme song, ‘Korbo Lorbo Jitbo’ (We will do it, fight it and win it), has been composed by Vishal Shekhar of ‘Om Shanti Om’ fame and sung by Vishal. Said Khan, “We are here to play with life and win. We will give it our best shot. Sourav has been a great inspiration for me. The backbone of this team is Jon (Buchanan, the Kolkata’s team’s coach). I am in the entertainment business and don’t know cricket, so it will be left to the doyens of cricket.”
Ganguly, the team’s captain, unveiled the Knight Riders’ apparel, a combination of black and gold – black being the colour of Goddess Kali, and gold for winning. The apparel has been designed by Manish Malhotra, while the kit has been designed by Reebok.
SRK also unveiled the promotional videos, logo, and team mascot, Hoog Lee, a Royal Bengal tiger. Khan added that plans were afoot to come out with a Knight Riders album featuring Usha Uthup, Bappi Lahiri and young talents from Bengal.
Present at the conference were Sourav Ganguly, Prasun Mukherjee, CAB President, Kunal Dasgupta,CEO, Sony Entertainment Television and Juhi Chawla Mehta. Four young players L Ratan Shukla, Riddhiman Saha,Sourashis Lahiri and Rohan Bannerjee were honoured by Khan at the conference.
The Kolkata Knight Riders team comprises Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Ricky Ponting, Shoab Akhtar, Chris Gayle, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, Murali Kartik, David Hussey, Akash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Brendon Mccullum, Umar Gul, Tatenda Taibu. Jon Buchanan is the coach. Anderw Leipus is the physiotherapist, while Adrian Le Roux is the trainer.
Some of the sponsors of the Kolkata Knight Riders include Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), Reebok, Belmonte, Tag Heuer and The Telegraph.
IPL matches would commence from April 18, 2008. There will be total 59 matches played in this series over 44 days. These matches would be aired live on SET Max. Media rights have been given to the Sony-WSG combine for 10 years. BCCI has already earned Rs 7,000 crore by selling TV and other rights. All the matches would be in the 20-20 format and played under ICC rules.
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