Salman Butt recently heaped praise on Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan for his down-to-earth nature in the 2008 edition of the Indian Premier League. Khan is one of the biggest Bollywood actors, and it was the first time the IPL was happening. Hence, the players did not have much idea of how they would be treated in a league based on the franchise format.
Shah Rukh Khan owned the Kolkata Knight Riders team, and there were multiple Pakistani players, including Salman Butt, in the KKR squad for the 2008 season. In a recent appearance on the Cricket Den YouTube channel, Butt recalled the only IPL tournament of his career and said that he was impressed with the way the team owners treated him.
Sharing the details of one of the incidents, Butt said that the players were sitting on the sofa, while the owner Khan was sitting on a kit bag lying down on the floor.
“The launch itself was a big hit because everything was under one roof. It was also a different experience for us and I remember meeting Shahrukh Khan in the dressing room. He was lying down on a kit bag while the entire team sat on a sofa, chatting with the players,” said Butt.
Salman Butt missed the first few matches of IPL 2008 due to national commitment
When the Indian Premier League began in 2008, not many international players were ready to sacrifice the chance of playing international matches for league cricket. The trend has changed now, but in 2008, the Pakistani players were unavailable for a few matches because they had a series against the Bangladesh cricket team around that time only.
Butt missed the first few matches of the Kolkata Knight Riders team but was available for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, KKR did not qualify for the playoffs that year.