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"Will Preity Zinta still hug us after she's married?"

by Gaurav Sethi

A distraught KXIP player speaks up
For most editions, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has owned the lower berths of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table rankings. On the few occasions that KXIP turned a certain defeat into a victory, co-owner Preity Zinta’s joy knew no bounds nor did her hugs. Falling short of hugging the lamppost, the lovely lady hugged all and sundry in the squad including the masseur and his massage table.
Then came along IPL 7; KXIP’s season to beat all seasons. Preity had her arms full. The players were nothing short of ecstatic. Psychologist, Sukhinder Singh Mann, cited a direct correlation between Preity’s hugs and the players’ performances on the field – “Video footage has shown, immediately after a KXIP victory, even before Ms Zinta starts to hug the match winners, players on the bench inflict themselves on her in the hope of winning a hug. No doubt she obliges but only after she gives the match winners a bear hug – her hugs are nothing short of jhappis between old yaars, very desi and full of love and affection. There is both a healing touch and hotness to it. We must understand these are young players out there and being appreciated by their lovely owner is the icing on the cake...I will go so far as to say, it is both the cake and the icing. Must admit, in Mohali I too have been hugged by Ms Zinta, I felt like man of the match, correction man of the series haha”
Now it turns out, Preity Zina will tie the knot with a certain Gene Goodenough. Plagued by punsters all his life, Mr Goodenough refused to comment whether he thought he was good enough for a Bollywood star like Preity Zinta. Instead, he lost his shirt asking the reporter whether he was the same guy who keeps asking Dhoni when he plans to retire. There were no more questions.
Arguably most pained by Preity Zinta’s marriage plan was a player (who requested not to be named but referred to as a Perennially Benched Player (PBP)). Deeply distraught by the latest marriage announcements, he said, “As a benched player, nothing was more important to me than the team winning. Not because I cared for our victory, but because I longed for a hug from Preity. My ass hurts sitting on the bench match after match, I now know what Manoj Tiwary felt all this while. But he doesn’t know what I feel when I am hugged by Preity. I’m really scared now, if Preity gets married to Gene, will I be no longer good enough for a hug?”
New KXIP skipper, David Miller refused to comment but wished Preity the best for her marriage.  Star batsman, Glenn Maxwell, said some of the Indian players who are milestone driven, actually count the number of times Preity has hugged them, but as an Aussie he just likes to give it his all and not count how many times the two have hugged.
Newly appointed KXIP mentor, Virender Sehwag said he was a married man with two sons and did not like talking about hugging women. “What Preity Zinta does is Preity Zinta’s business, if she likes hugging players to show her goodwill then that is her business.” Answering another inane question, Sehwag was deadpan as ever, “No, I have not met her fiancé so I cannot say whether he is good enough for her.”
Finally, Preity Zinta put an end to all speculation by saying she thought the man in her life was good enough for her. “And no, nothing can stop me from hugging my players. And Gene is not the jealous kind, but he did say somewhat sarcastically, ‘Preity, tell me darling, is cricket a contact sport?’ haha”
Priety was all smiles and dimples. You could tell the press in waiting was dying for a hug.
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)

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