Virender Sehwag was one of the most loved batsmen in his playing days and an exemplary cricketer with millions of fans. After mere two years of mentoring the Kings XI Punjab team in the IPL, he unfortunately faces the temper of the co-owner of the franchise, Preity Zinta. Reportedly, Zinta slammed Sehwag after their defeat against Rajasthan Royals.
As per a report in Mumbai Mirror, after the Kings XI failed to chase a modest target of 158 against Rajasthan Royals, it is said that Preity Zinta lost her cool at Virender Sehwag. Even before the players had retired to the change rooms after the match, she questioned him about his ‘tactics’ implemented during the game. Sehwag is in for a five-year association with the franchise but this humiliating incident could change the scene.
“Against Rajasthan Royals, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was sent in at number three, ahead of more accomplished batsmen such as Karun Nair and Manoj Tiwari. The move backfired as Ashwin fell for a duck, and Preity launched into Sehwag for the decision. However, when Preity continued to blame him, saying ‘unnecessary’ tinkering with the playing XI had led to a spate of defeats, Sehwag tried to reason with her,” a source present at the field on the day told Mirror.
Apparently, this is not the first time Preity Zinta has got in the way of Virender Sehwag’s job. A franchise source also said that Sehwag is close to co- owner, Ness Wadia and has expressed his displeasure at the incident to him and other owners. “Viru had told the other owners to rein in Preity. He told the owners that he’ll not comment on Preity’s acting chops and she should refrain from talking about his cricketing acumen,” the source said. This year, as the team’s mentor, he played a key role in the auctions held in January, 2018. Even Ness Wadia gave him all the credit for the roping in of players like R Ashwin & Chris Gayle.
Another owner of Kings XI Punjab, Mohit Burman, stated he was not present at the venue at the time of the incident. “But as far as I know, there is no problem. I have spoken to Viru and Preity,” he said. Few people connected to the franchise played down the incident, calling it a “routine post-match conversation between the owner and the team mentor”. They however acknowledged her being visibly “upset” with the result.
While Preity resorted to Twitter to vent her anger at Mumbai Mirror and refute the claims of such an incident, Virender Sehwag remained unavailable for comment. Those close to Sehwag told Mirror that he kept his cool and is not commenting because he doesn’t want to the players to lose their focus, especially when they have a good enough chance to qualify for the play-offs.
Ironically, things are looking bright for the team this year, with Kings XI currently placed third on the points table and well, the hard work of the iconic Virender Sehwag is to be applauded. IPL 2014 was one big mess at the end, Sanjay Bangar faced Preity’s anger in 2016 & this time round in 2018, the heat is on Sehwag!
SOURCE: MUMBAI MIRROR