'Grow up, please. This is sport!'
A visibly annoyed Shah Rukh Khan has sought to put an end to his comparison with Kolkata Knight Riders' former captain Sourav Ganguly and asked the fans to "grow up" and stop correlating the two.
"Grow up, please! This is sport. Let's play it like a sport. We keep on talking about Kings and Khans... This is crap, to be honest. I say this with love and respect to all of you," SRK said on the sidelines of the Kolkata Knight Riders' post-match party.
The Bollywood superstar, who triggered a debate after he dumped the left-hander following a forgettable three-season stint, said it's high time people get over it and leave the former India skipper alone.
"To be honest, if we don't outgrow this, it is embarrassing not only to us, not only to me, it's embarrassing for Dada also.
"We should get over this. Every time I come to Kolkata, if you are going to bring this up for a few headlines and some spicy titbits, I think it's a little unfair." he said.
"It's not only unfair to me. It is unfair to the great legend that Sourav Ganguly is. Let him play his cricket, lead his life in whichever team he plays for, whether it's an Indian team, an IPL team or a domestic team.
"We should all be cheering for the greatness that he has achieved instead of making him small with these comparisons and belittling the importance of what Sourav Ganguly has achieved in Indian sports history," the actor said.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan
'I'm the greatest fan of Dada'
Asked whether he might think of bringing in Ganguly as mentor for his side, Shahrukh, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, said, "I'm the mentor of this team, the owner of this team, the hero of this team. I'm the God of this team!
"Generally, what I'm saying is we have a lot of love for all the cricketing greats. We have had some wonderful memories with him. We wish him all the best. We wish him whenever he plays. He is one of the great legends the country will ever see in any sport.
"Personally, I'm the greatest fan of Dada as far as cricket is concerned. We worked together [for a commercial] many years ago. We had a lot of great moments together with his family," he reiterated.
Ganguly, who headed Pune Warriors against KKR earlier this month at the Eden Gardens, stirred Bengali emotions to the hilt as loyalties were divided among the masses. The match was seen as a Dada versus Khan battle.
The Knight Riders play Mumbai Indians on Wednesday at the Wankhede stadium, before heading to Pune for a return leg match on May 19.
Having suffered two defeats in succession, Knight Riders need to notch one win from their remaining two matches to advance to the next stage.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan with Sourav Ganguly