Mumbai: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have refuted reports of a rift between team co-owner Preity Zinta and mentor Virender Sehwag, calling it a misconstrued" and "negative" interpretation of the team's "open and transparent culture."
Zinta and Sehwag had reportedly gotten into a heated argument after KXIP lost to Rajasthan Royals by 15 runs in Jaipur on 8 May. Royals had scored 158/8 on their home ground — a middling total that proved too much for KXIP as barring opener KL Rahul, none of the visiting batsmen could make any significant contribution. Rahul top-scored with unbeaten 95, the next highest score was Marcus Stoinis' 11.
As per reports, Sehwag was severely reprimanded by Zinta after the loss, forcing the former India opener to consider ending his association with the IPL team.
Clarifying their position on the issue, KXIP said the franchise reviews its performance "on and off the field after each game" through "formal and informal discussions."
"This is part of our standard operations review process which helps us to analyse our results and allow us to focus on the improvement required after each game, both on and off the field so that we can continue to improve in all aspects," a statement from the franchise read.
The rebuttal comes shortly after Zinta took to Twitter to trash the report.
Mumbai Mirror gets it wrong again because we didn’t do Media net & pay them to write articles cuz that’s the only time they get it right. A conversation between Viru & me has been blown out of proportion & suddenly I’m a Villian ! Wow ! #fakenews https://t.co/qGOYhCiVtV
— Preity zinta (@realpreityzinta) May 11, 2018
The franchise's statement terms the team culture "open and non-hierarchical" that encourages "open and frank debate by one and all."
"It is unfortunate that this open and transparent culture has been misconstrued and highlighted in a negative manner, so as to tarnish and damage our image as well as that of the IPL," it further states.
KXIP currently occupy third place on the points table. They play Kolkata Knight Riders in Indore on Saturday.