Cricket and movies have mingled with each other, hand-in-hand, for quite a long time now.
The two professions have managed to carve a niche for themselves. But the amalgam of both is what has led several cricketers find a place in the film industry.
This cocktail of ‘the glamour and the game’ has ‘pitched’ into the second innings of several cricketing legends. From the field of cricket they transitioned to the world of 70 mm camera. Amongst them, some succeeded to hit a full toss whereas others got out on a duck.
Take a look at the cricketers who turned into actors. Take a toss!
- Brett Lee
One of the fastest bowlers in contemporary cricket, Brett Lee made his acting debut with the recently released film, “UnIndian.” Lee, who announced his retirement in 2010, forayed into films with an appearance in the film ‘Victory’. He previously was featured in a music video with Asha Bhosle for the song ‘You’re the one for me’, which he had written himself.
- Yograj Singh
Yograj Singh, former cricketer and father of Yuvraj Singh, had a short career in cricket. He soon found himself in ‘Punjwood’, the Punjabi film industry, where he acted in around 30 films. He has acted in 10 Hindi films as well, the most distinguished being, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, where he plays coach to Milkha Singh, played by Farhan Akhtar. He essayed the role of Raftar Singh’s father (played by Akshay Kumar) in ‘Singh is Bling’.
- Salil Ankola
Salil Ankola, a one-test wonder, retired from the cricketing world at the age of 28. However, his stunning features soon landed him a place in films. Braving his drug addiction, he soon featured in Kurukshetra, Pitaah, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne and Riwayat. He gained popularity with the popular TV serial, Shh…koi hai, CID and was a participant on the reality show Power Couple.
- Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev, who lifted the World Cup for India in 1983, is considered to be the greatest all-rounder of all times. He acted in the film ‘Iqbal’, as a selector for the Indian team. He made an appearance in the film ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’, starring Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar.
- Ajay Jadeja
The right-armed batsman tried his hand at acting after he was banned for 5 years from playing cricket after 1999 match – fixing scandal. He was starred in the 2003 film ‘Khel’. He did a cameo in the film ‘Kai Po Che’, where he essayed his real life role – cricket commentator.
- Sunil Gavaskar
The former cricketer and BCCI president, Sunny Gavaskar made his acting debut with Savli Premachi, a 1980 Marathi film. Subsequently, he did a cameo in the Hindi film ‘Malamal’.
- Yuvraj Singh
The cricketer who hit six consecutive sixes in an over against England, creating a world record, worked as a child artist in Punjabi films.
- Vinod Kambli
Kambli, who began his cricketing career with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, acted in two films – Annarth and Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat but as in cricket, here too it went in vain.
- Syed Kirmani
The cricketer who won the award for being the ‘best wicketkeeper’ in 1983 World Cup, Syed Kirmani tried his hand at acting too. Kirmani got a role as an underworld don in the film ‘Kabhi Ajnabi the’. Interestingly, his contemporary, Sandeep Patil, played the role of the protagonist in the film.
- Salim Durani
The first cricketer to win an Arjun Award, Durani was also the first cricketer to act in a film. Durani starred in 1973 feature film, ‘Charitra’ alongside Parveen Babi.