How Akshay Kumar Terminated Lucrative Contract To Save Delhi IPL Franchise, Book Reveals
When the Delhi Daredvils (now Capitals) were in financial trouble and couldn't afford to respect Akshay Kumar's contract in 2009, he could have thrown a temper tantrum or worse, launched legal action.
According to cricket administrator Amrit Mathur's recently released memoir, the actor just shrugged off the setback.
"Akshay signed a three-year deal with the Delhi Daredevils to shoot promotional films, attend meet-and-greet events, and make appearances at corporate events," Mathur wrote in his book 'Pitchside: My Life in Indian Cricket' (Westland Sport).
"Aside from his Kotla act (in which Kumar performed some stunts), nothing much happened because DD didn't know how to use him." DD opted to cancel or renegotiate the contract at the end of the season, following an exhaustive post-mortem held against the backdrop of significant financial losses."
It was a difficult job because Kumar's contract did not include a departure provision.
"Akshay's contract provided no way out; on the contrary, it provided him with solid guarantees for three years." DD's lawyers approached Akshay's employees with the intention of revising the contract, but they were unsuccessful.
"The (legally correct) response from his side was that the contract didn't factor in early termination and that it had run its course with full monetary compensation," writes Mathur.
"From DD's perspective, Akshay's multi-crore contract could be compared to a self-goal or a hit-wicket dismissal." Given the dismal financial performance and the need for restraint, the star had become an unnecessary expense. DD begged Akshay for forgiveness, knowing that there was no legal way out."
The brand chose Mathur as their emissary, sending him to visit Kumar while he was filming 'Chandni Chowk to China'.
"After a shot, we returned to his vanity van, and I explained the reason for my visit and DD's financial difficulties."
"No problem, ji," he answered sympathetically. 'If it's not working, let's close it,' says the boss. I believed I had misheard him.
"Seeing my perplexed expression, he slowly clarified, 'Isko khatam kar dete hain (let us end this)'." When I complained about the strict contract conditions, he reassured me, 'Koi baat nahin, main lawyer ko bol dunga (No problem, I will notify the lawyer)'."
Mathur was taken aback by this unexpected and generous act.
"Even after all these years, I'm surprised Akshay waived such a large sum of money." Just like that, a hasty judgement when he could easily have thrown the contract at us."