Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta and chief mentor Virender Sehwag were involved in a verbal spat on Tuesday after the team lost to Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, according to a Mumbai Mirror report. Sehwag was given a dressing down by the actor after Punjab failed to chase down 159 runs set by the then bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals, the report said.

Those privy of the spat stated that Zinta went up to Sehwag after the match and questioned him about the tactics used during the game. “Against Rajasthan Royals, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was sent in at No 3, ahead of more accomplished batsmen such as Karun Nair and Manoj Tiwari. The move backfired as Ashwin fell for a duck, and Preity launched into Sehwag for the decision,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Sehwag tried to defuse the situation but Zinta continued to blame him and accused him of tinkering with the playing XI unnecessarily, which has led to three defeats in the past five games.

Such is the fallout of the incident that Kings XI mentor Sehwag’s five-year association with the franchise could end this season because he is not happy with the actor interfering in his job.

“Viru had told the other owners to rein in Preity. He told the owners that he’ll not comment on Preity’s acting chops and she should refrain from talking about his cricketing acumen,” the official was quoted as saying.

Sehwag tried to keep his cool because he did not want the players to lose their focus as the tournament enters its business end. Sehwag played for Kings XI till 2015, when he opened the batting for the franchise. This year, as the team’s mentor, he played a key role in the auctions, roping in team captain Ravichandran Ashwin and Chris Gayle.

Co-owner Mohit Burman, who was not present at the venue during the incident said, “But as far as I know, there is no problem. I have spoken to Viru and Preity.”

However, later in the day, Preity Zinta refuted the claims of the showdown with Sehwag and said that the conversation had been blown out of proportion.

Kings XI are currently placed third in the points table and are in all likelihood going to qualify for the playoffs.

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this report stated that Sehwag opened the batting for Kings XI in 2017. This is false and the error has been rectified.