Wise after first innings, Preity Zinta in cricket for long tenure

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Mumbai, Jun 22 (UNI) Flushed with the success of the Indian Premier League, especially the Kings XI of Punjab, co-owner of the Mohali team Preity Zinta has said she is in the game for a long innings and will do everything to promote the sport in the region.

The famed actor, who drew wide acclaim during the IPL, for her prominent appearance in each and every game the Yuvraj led team played and egged it to the hilt, told UNI in an interview, ''We will take it to the grassroot in the catchment areas of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the head of India.'' ''We are drawing long-term plans and the time we had during the first year was very short... about two months,'' she said, adding the team hoped to get higher returns, during the second or third year. Priety said that she was into the game on a long-term basis.

Appreciating the rich display the team had put up during the league phase, which saw the team finishing second, Preity said the semifinal was a bad day for the team. A noise at the start, Priety had been involved in every aspect, including the selection of the team and at the end, now she is wise and knows about the game ''.... sixes, fours, googly, doosra, freehit etc etc,'' she reeled but was cautious enough to add that she would stick to the commercial part of the game alone and would not have any say in the team selection or strategy.

''This is the role of the coach,'' she was clear in her statement and would not comment on picking up of the team members, the controversy, which saw the Bangalore Royal Challengers rocking towards the fag end of the league, with Owner and Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya criticising the selection of the team members, during the auction. ''I will support commercialisation of cricket up to a point. But I will not like to have any say in the game plans, which is the role of a coach,'' she said.

Preity, whose excitement over the game was evident from the manner, had reacted from the galleries, was however highly critical the way certain media had projected her presence, which had 'upset her a little.' Dismissing some of the reports as 'stupid gossips, which were demeaning her as a woman,' Preity said, ''I am not a barby doll.'' UNI VK RN RL PM1030

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