Bollywood actress Preity Zinta was on Friday confirmed as the owner of the Stellenbosch franchise in South Africa's T20 Global League cricket tournament. The 42-year-old already co-owns Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab. "I am extremely proud to announce and warmly welcome Preity Zinta to South Africa and the T20 Global League family," Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a release.
"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.
"It pays to work diligently and to be patient when setting up a League of the magnitude we envisage," concluded Lorgat.
Zinta became co-owner of the KXIP in 2008 and at that stage was the only woman owner of an IPL team.
In the #T20GL, it's a similar situation as she looks to turn the Paarl based franchise into a winner.
"I would like to compliment and thank Haroon Lorgat from Cricket South Africa for his unrelenting persistence, passion and belief in the T20 Global league which inspired me to come on board," said Zinta.
"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.
"I hope the people of the Cape 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," explained Zinta.
Marquee player for the Stellenbosch franchise, batsman Faf du Plessis, expressed delight at learning about Zinta being his new team owner.
"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.
"She is also very passionate about the sport and I am sure local fans will have an awesome time at Boland Park," commented Du Plessis.
Zinta is expected to visit South Africa during next week.
The Stellenbosch team play their first home game on November 4 at Boland Park against the Johannesburg Giants.