Azhar Inspired Post: Film Stars and Cricketers

I just watched Azhar, which was terrible, but which also posited that Azhar and Sangeeta was a BIG DEAL because it was the first time Cricket and film had overlapped.  To which my reaction was “Oh please!”

Did you know Sachin Tendulkar and Aamir Khan are friends?  Or, more accurately, friends/fan?  Fan singular, because I don’t know how Sachin feels about Aamir as a Star, but I know Aamir is a huge fan of Sachin as a player.  He is constantly rumored to want to make a Sachin biopic, he postponed Dhoom 3 promotions so he could be at Sachin’s last match, and he claims he did PK because Sachin told him it would be a hit.

(Look at him, all star struck!  Also, I don’t follow cricket, is Sachin really short?  Because he looks about the same height as Aamir here, and I know Aamir is really short)

We all know that Anushka is dating current captain Virat Kohli.  And the fame attached to that seems to be much more challenging to deal with than a simple matter like being a movie star!  On the other hand, I just looked up photos for this artivle, and Virat is kind of cute, right?  Definitely way better looking than Azhar.

Although I might still like Dhoni better.  My sister did an internship in Pune at an all male office in 2008, and after weeks of listening in on lunch table discussions, all she learned about cricket was “Dhoni is the hot one.”

Of course, so far as I can tell Dhoni doesn’t have an film connections.  Except that he played for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL.  And IPL, of course, is riddled with film connections.  It’s where entertainment meets sport!  Even more than before.  Oh, and also where sport meets scandal.  Even more than before.  The Chennai Super Kings got caught up in a match-fixing and impropriety scandal, which included Dara Singh’s son placing bets on behalf of a team owner.  Dara would be SHOCKED, I am sure.

Also caught up in the scandal, team owner and Shilpa Shetty’s husband, Raj Kundra.  Another film-cricket connection!  One of many once we start talking about team owners, considering Juhi and Shahrukh co-own the Kolkata Knight Riders, and Priety owns the Kings XI Punjab.  And then there’s the Ambani’s, who own the Mumbai Indians, and Reliance Studios, and the BIG Cinemas chain.

(How cute is that baby in Cricket gear!?!?)

All of these star owners have helped turn IPL cricket seasons into just another kind of film season, with photos of people arriving at the games, big opening day performances, star feuds and friendships spilling out onto the field, and so on.  And, of course, it is the big source for Shahrukh Khan headlines every spring, whether it is him being adorable with his son, or being super angry around his daughter.

(I like the kid just calmly tying his shoes and ignoring everything else going on around him)

Finally, most importantly, Tiger Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore!  This is the relationship that should have a movie!  And periodically movies are rumored, but then who would you cast?  You can do Saif playing his father, but then who plays Sharmila?  Or you could have Soha playing her mother, but then who plays Tiger?  The obvious solution, of course, is to just have Saif and Soha play their parents.  But that only works if you remove all the romance and sexual chemistry from their relationship, and what kind of movie would that be?

Tiger Pataudi’s whole life sounds more like a movie than anything else.  And, like, a baaaaad movie.  Where people come out of it saying “that was so unrealistic!  How are we supposed to believe he watched his father die in a polo accident on his 11th birthday, making him the last king of Pataudi?”  And that’s just the start!  Then he goes to England for school, is recognized as a cricket prodigy, is the first Indian captain of the Oxford team, and is in car accident at age LOSING AN EYE!!!  Which slowed his cricket career down not at all (how is that even possible?  Doesn’t depth perception rely pretty heavily on having 2 working eyes?).  He became captain of the Indian team at 21, in the middle of a test series, after the previous captain was hit by a ball putting him in a coma for 6 days.  Oh, and Pataudi is still the youngest test captain in the history of India.  He also turned the Indian team around, making it a professional international level body, and played for India for 14 years.

More impressive than his cricket career (or at least, as impressive), is his personal life.  As in, he is the man who Sharmila Tagore married!  Sharmila is a great-niece of Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Prize Winner and writer of India’s national anthem.  Hugely important family.  Sharmila herself became a film star at age 18 when she was cast in Kashmir Ki Kali, although her first film was an art picture for Satyajit Ray at age 13 (The World of Apu).  She continued to act for years, moving between the popular cinema and the art cinema.  And in 1969, she married Tiger Pataudi, and continued to work in film, while also taking time out to cheer him on in his cricket matches and having 3 children.  Oh, and by the way, Saif was born 8 and a half months after their wedding.  So Tiger may have had a little help in convincing her to settle down.

(Sharmila at 13 in her first film)

(Sharmila at 18 in her big break film)

(Sharmila at 24 at her wedding with Tiger)


4 thoughts on “Azhar Inspired Post: Film Stars and Cricketers

  1. Bollywood and Cricket seem to have a mutual fascination for each other.Some of the famous cricketers have acted in Bollywood movies too.Like Salim Durani with Parveen, Ajay Jedeja with Celena Jeitley etc.Neena Gupta was notorious for having a love child with Vivian Richards, the West Indies Player.Whenever India-West Indies have a match and Richards’ turn comes to bat, the Indian players used to nudge and wink and heckle him with “Here comes our son-in-law.”

    Dhoni is rumoured to be quite a hound dog -his link-ups have been confined mainly to starlets and South Indian actresses.In fact Laxmi Rai used to brag so much about her motor-bike rides on the beach with her ‘good friend’ Dhoni.She didn’t get an invite to his wedding either.He pulled a Shahid and didn’t invite any of the exes to his wedding.

    So Saif is an 8 months baby.I would love to see a biopic about Tiger-Sharmila.But Saif is too old to play Tiger’s younger self.Try to catch the old interview with Simi Garewal in the 90s with the Tiger and his family.It’s in English.Saif was still married to Amrita at the time and they shared anecdotes about some lovely times.

    Deepika was rumoured to be with either Dhoni or Yuvaraj.Of course this was long before she became famous.Mostly the relationships of the Cricketers have been of short duration and with starlets like Sangeetha. As I said before, after Tiger-Sharmila, Virat’s relationship with Anushka made waves because 1)She’s an A-lister 2)They acknowledged living together. She got flak for his poor performance and was the butt of so many jokes like Alia.Some of them are hilarious and I feel so guilty for enjoying them.


    • I thought there was a Deepika cricket player rumor! But I couldn’t find it when I googled. Either her team has done a good job scrubbing it from the internet, or it is just so long ago that all the articles have been super-ceded by stuff about her other relationships.

      I just looked up Neena Gupta, and she also had a relationship with Alok Nath! Boring old “plays the father in everything” Alok Nath! I have so much more respect for him.

      It sounds like most of the film-cricket relationships are kind of “not marriage material” from both sides? Like, a starlet is going to want to marry a businessman type, and a sports star is going to want to marry a “good girl” type? But they will enjoy fooling around for a while before settling down? Would that be accurate?

      I mean, it’s the same thing you see with film stars, Shahid dates Kareena, Vidya, and Priyanka and then marries good girl college student Mira, Madhuri (supposedly) dates Sanjay Dutt but marries Dr. Nene, Akshay dates everybody in the world and then marries the one who was willing to give up her career and be a housewife. Not that it is a hard and fast rule, but it seems like they are more likely to sew some wild oats with fellow celebrities, and then settle down and get serious with an outsider.


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