At 25, he’s the youngest in the illustrious list of team owners at the recently inaugurated Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 10. One of the most eligible bachelors in the country, the director of Intex Technologies also has an affable rapport with the members of his Gujarat Lions (GL) squad and is never the one to shy away from experimenting with his looks; be it his funky hairdos or chic beard styles. Ahead of his team’s IPL season 10 opener against Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders, he opened up about some fun moments from the dressing room and more. Excerpts:
How does it feel to be a young IPL team owner? Does it help in any way?
The idea was to market the brand Intex when we bought the team. Things kept on happening and Keshav Bansal, the separate brand, was built somewhere in between. So if that helps strengthen the brand’s image, it’s well and good.
Age is just another number. For instance, look at Shah Rukh (Khan). Even at 50-plus, he has an amazing rapport with the players of his team. So what matters is the substance in your personality. But definitely, once the players see a young owner, they open up a little more and there is more comfort.
Who are the biggest pranksters and most serious guys in the team?
Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina are the biggest pranksters. Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum are the quieter and more mature ones.
Narrate a quirky incident from the dressing room.
Despite being a teetotaler, Bravo is the most energetic guy in the dressing room. Once after a win, we were chilling and he literally nudged the DJ off the turntable and went on for 3-4 hours. The ‘champion’ dance routine then did the rounds through the night!
Your deputy coach Mohammad Kaif will be pitted against Yuvi’s SRH sometime in the tournament. How nostalgic will it be?
That’s the beauty of the IPL’s format. Just like Virendra Sehwag will face off against Gautam Gambhir’s Kolkata Knight Riders as the mentor of Kings XI Punjab, it will be the same with Kaif and Yuvraj when we play against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. It will make for an interesting and healthy rivalry.
If there were to be an auction soon, who would your dream buys be?
We already have a good squad at the moment. But apart from someone like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli definitely. I also quite like AB de Villiers. One would enjoy having these sorts of players in the dressing room and watch them play too.
Who do you think are the strongest teams apart from GL?
Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers look really strong on paper.
What is your relationship status currently?
I’m happily single at the moment and wouldn’t want to date a celebrity. In fact I don’t even know many of them. Ideally, I’d like to date a good human being.
This could be GL’s last IPL season. What lies ahead?
It in fact is the last season for GL. Once it finishes, we’ll be in discussions with the BCCI, which has undergone various reforms of late. And if it’s financially feasible, we’d definitely want to continue being a part of the IPL.