Preity Zinta, the Bollywood actress, is also one of the owners of Kings XI Punjab, the IPL franchise. © BCCI

Preity Zinta, the Bollywood actress, is also one of the owners of Kings XI Punjab, the IPL franchise. © BCCI

Preity Zinta’s involvement with franchise cricket has been extended with the co-owner of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League confirmed as owner of Stellenbosch Monarchs in the South African T20 Global League.

“I am extremely proud to announce and warmly welcome Preity Zinta to South Africa and the T20 Global League family,” said Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of Cricket South Africa. “The introduction of a Bollywood star like Preity Zinta speaks volumes for the T20 Global League and finalises an eminent and enviable group of owners. Her experience and stardom will add value to the T20GL.”

The league, which will be played across eight cities in South Africa from November 3 to December 6 in its inaugural 2017 season, already had a strong Asian flavour among owners, including Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League as well as Zinta’s colleague in a number of Bollywood films, buying the Cape Town franchise.

That apart, the owners’ rota includes Muhammad Javed Afridi (Benoni Zalmi), Sushil Kumar (Bloem City Blazers), Rana Fawad (Durban Qalandars), the GMR Group (Jo’burg Giants), and Ajay Sethi (Pretoria Mavericks).

Zinta hoped that as part of the ownership group at Stellenbosch Monarchs, which will be based in the city of Paarl, she would be able to rovide opportunities to young talent in South Africa.

“I firmly believe that this is the most exciting time for young South African cricketing talent. This league will give them an opportunity to take the leap from becoming the best in the country to becoming the best in the world,” said Zinta. “I hope the people of the winelands area of South Africa have an unrivalled fan experience during this tournament and believe together we will make our team and stadium something very special.”

Faf du Plessis, the local marquee player for the Monarchs who has represented Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL over the years, was excited at having Zinta on board. “I’m very excited to see that Preity Zinta has come on board. I have heard from my team-mates that she is very good to work with, so I’m looking forward to working with her and seeing how she impacts our team space,” he said. “She is also very passionate about the sport and I am sure local fans will have an awesome time at Boland Park.”nta