When Sanjay Dutt met Lalit Modi to buy a new cricket team for himself he wasn"t aware that the media would be informed and waiting for him at the hotel in suburban Mumbai. Apparently the media is duly informed every time a superstar decides to negotiate for an IPL team.
Says a source, “The idea is to let it be known that big stars are getting progressively involved with the IPL. That attracts more money, eyeballs and junta interest. So on Wednesday evening, when Dutt reached the Hyatt he was taken aback to see media persons swarming the place. His first impulse was to flee."
However Dutt had a fruitful meeting with Modi, where he discussed his apprehensions and curiosities about purchasing an IPL team.
Says the source, “Sanjay"s main concern was, would he be able to buy the team because of his court cases? There are many things that he can"t do, like endorsements, etc. Sanjay was assured there would be no problem. With the removal of TADA charges, Dutt now has rights, equal to every other Indian citizen."
“Having got that apprehension out of the way Dutt questioned Lalit Modi about the nitty-gritty of the IPL team. There are two new teams in Ahmedabad and Nagpur coming up in December. Sanjay might buy either," informs the source.
There are efforts now to optimize celebrity participation and generation of money through star presence in the IPL. It is reliably learnt that Shahrukh Khan, for example, will be charging neat packets from the aam junta for attending matches and post-match events like dinners, where the closer the junta sits to the star, the more it will cost.
Preity Zinta has recently taken on a television show where she will be seen hobnobbing, interacting and conversing with all her IPL cricketers. She had made a neat packet from the deal with Star Plus.
“So you see the stars are working towards building a bigger buck bank for the IPL," says the source.