Betting should be legalised as it may curb corruption, feels Preity G Zinta

first_imgPreity G Zinta was suggestive that it will be good if government legalises betting as she felt that will might control some of the corruption that is associated to betting in sports.The Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scam broke out in 2013, which brought immense bad repute to the T20 tournament and even led to the ouster of Lalit Modi, who conceived the concept of the tournament, and ban of many owners and cricketers, including S Sreesanth.At the India Today Conclave East 2018, Zinta expressed her view on the matter, saying that there’s only so much you can do to police people and suggested that it will be better if there are rules in place to curb the problems.Zinta was asked about the wild IPL parties that press wrote about and how she dealt with the indiscipline of the cricketers, if any, and she said sometimes it was ugly but that was just the beginning stages of the league and things are far more serious now.”I hated it [parties]. I was not the boss of a team, I was an actress out of a set. People used to attack me at those parties. When people have a lot of alcohol, there’s very little you can say to them. So, they don’t go the cricketers but be like ‘hello ji’ and you know Punjab is like, it’s quite wild. I never really attended too many of these parties but yes, they were part of this whole buzz creating thing.advertisementWATCH FULL SESSION VIDEO”But eventually everything settled down. Media wrote a lot of things, of course people will write because it’s a big tournament, but sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, sometimes it was ugly. Those were teething stages and now, it has come very very serious,” Preity G Zinta said.”I did sit down with some cricketers [discipline issues] but my thing was, when I was acting and someone would come and tell me ‘sleep and be fine’, I would retort with ‘is there a problem with my performance, am I looking bad. No right, so please mind your own business’. I had the same attitude with the players. My only thing was there should be no corruption issues.”I even suggested that there should be a lie detector time to time like they have drug tests because the tournament had become so big that one little thing could damage it but nobody was willing to go with my suggestion and players needed to take it seriously. But today they take it very seriously. The earning opportunity is so high that you would be stupid to let go,” Zinta further added.When asked if there was any approach made towards her or if she knew of the corruption issues building around the league, Zinta said had she been approached by someone, the person would have been taken to the cops.”You think somebody can make an offer to me and still be alive, I would probably take him to the cops. Please understand I had just got out of movies. For 10 years I was living in a studio with cameras and characters that didn’t exist, so I was living in a La La Land. Suddenly I stepped out into a cricket stadium. Everybody was alien to me and to be honest, I didn’t know what was happening.”But over the years, I think it would be important if the government legalises betting because it will be a good source of revenue and stuff and secondly, we can stop all this crap because how many people can you control. So, that’s why I said let’s do a random lie detector test, BCCI should just make it part of the policy, it will be amazing. Because the fear of knowing that I can get caught, that’s what you need. You can’t police people that much.”‘LALIT MODI WAS A GAME CHANGER, HE RAN THE IPL SINGLE-HANDEDLY’Preity G Zinta credited Lalit Modi for the creating a brand like the IPL and felt whatever people might think of him today, he handled everything extremely well and would always solve any issues that cropped up.”I met Lalit Modi at the Bravery Awards. I was the brand ambassador and his family was involved with that. We sat down for coffee later, and I told him that I want to have a sports school. I am going to do that because I have been sporty all my life, I have played all sports and it was mine and my dad’s dream for India to win more Olympic medals and to have more facilities. I didn’t realise that you need to have Rs 1000 crore to have a sports school!advertisement”When the IPL was being bid for, he called me and asked, ‘Why don’t you do this?’ Everyone told me don’t do this, it’s crazy, this will never happen but somehow he convinced me. I am a visual person and for me, I just looked forward and thought, ‘Can I see this happen? Yes, I can.'”I also believed that it would be my first step in sports and I could do what I wanted to do. So that’s how.”Lalit in that way was a game changer. He ran the IPL single-handedly. I would call him at 3 in the night saying ‘this is not happening’ and at five past 3, he will make it happen. So he was that one person who made everything happen and whatever people might say about him today, I really appreciate him and thank him for creating the IPL and being so spot on. The growth in the IPL with his vision was so great then, it was huge,” Zinta said.HOW SHAH RUKH KHAN, PREITY AND LALIT PLANNED TO MARKET IPL”When I came to know Shah Rukh was involved. Shahrukh, Lalit and I sat on the marketing of the IPL and we had three points and each of us had the responsibility of that.”Once we got involved, Shah Rukh told me ‘remember we are the only idiots who have given our money and working for free but we are building this brand. Because nobody knew anybody else and there were only business families in the IPL. So I couldn’t say it was only my team that I had to promote. We had to promote the league.”So, we had three points. Lalit’s point was he wants to have an atmosphere where the remote control stays in the middle of the table and nobody in the family can touch it. So the father cannot say that I want to watch the news, the son cannot say that I want to watch cricket and such. So for that three hours, the remote should say on the table and that wholeness we want in the tournament.”Shah Rukh’s thing was because it’s a three-hour window, it should take away the business from cinema. When the movies released, summer used to be the best time to release movies because all the holidays were there and stuff. IPL was coming in the summer because that was the only window. So 8pm show and 3pm show, that was our competition.”The point given to me was that women should come and see sports because there was zero involvement of women. And today, 11 years later it’s all there. So we sat for 20 nights and we marketed it as we would market a movie. Nobody else had that experience. It was also about how we played it in the media, there was so much media that we did at that time and we bartered deals for cricket. It was all left to me or Shah Rukh. So, I think we did for all the owners because it was launching a league, not launching a team. But that was the best part for me of the IPL because I love working with Shah Rukh, he’s a great team person and Lalit was quick to react if there were any issues. And all three of us are owls so about 20 nights, we used to sit from 8-9pm to 6 in the morning.”advertisement(Written by Abreshmina S Quadri)last_img read more