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There are two things on which the average Indian is brought up on – cricket and bollywood movies. Cricket and cinema have for long enthralled Indian masses. While cricketers like Salil Ankola have experimented rather unsuccessfully with movies, many cricketers have found their soulmates in the glamour world.
SPORTZWIKI takes a look at some of the most famous cricket-bollywood link-ups, as we try to decode the bollywood connection of some of our Indian cricketers.
10. The late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi first met Bollywood diva Sharmila Tagore in 1965 at a common friend’s party. It was literally a case of love at first sight – it was reported that Tiger Pataudi had gifted a refrigerator to the young Bengali beauty, but it was a rose which finally unlocked the key to her heart. Four years later, cricket married bollywood.
9. Mohammed Azharuddin was so smitten by Sangeeta Bijlani, Miss India winner in 1980, that he divorced his first wife Naureen, and married the Bollywood starlet. The news of their affair created a furore in Hyderabad, Azharuddin’s hometown.
8. Ravi Shastri was quite the ladies man. The handsome blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket had a serious love affair with then upcoming heroine Amrita Singh before eventually marrying Ritu. Amrita too, moved on and married actor Saif Ali Khan.
7. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was said to be romantically involved with South Indian Nagma – the two were pictured together in a temple in Andhra Pradesh in 2001 – the story became a national rage then! In an interview with a magazine, Nagma opened up about her relationship with Sourav, and confessed : “A smaller interest had to be sacrificed for bigger interests… it’s in the best interests to move on,”, citing she had to end the relationship in the interest of the nation.
6. Harbhajan Singh and Bollywood actress Geeta Basra were believed to be in a relationship. Geeta was seen at many of Mumbai Indians‘ home matches in the Indian Premier League, and the pair were often seen retweeting each other’s posts on social networking site Twitter. They were often seen together in public, causing Shah Rukh Khan to crack a joke on Bhajji at an awards show “Twadda ghar kab basra hai?”.
5. Yuvraj Singh was dating Bollywood actress Kim Sharma for ages until their split in 2010 for reasons best known to the couple itself. Later on the Simi Garewal’s chat show, Yuvi opened up about his break-up : “At that time I was just peaking in my career. Yes, I was going to get married, as she has been the main love of my life. She is married now. So it’s not good to talk about her.”
4. Zaheer Khan‘s relationship with Bollywood actress Isha Sharvani was believed to be so serious that rumors of their marriage were being widely circulated. The two consistently denied the rumors, and Isha later confessed to her breakup with India’s pace spearhead. Zak was later seen hanging out with model cum VJ Ramona Arena. Quite the playboy we say!
3. Stuart Binny may have been a late-bloomer in cricketing terms having only earned his National team call-up in recent times, but the son of World Cup winner Roger Binny married VJ cum presenter Mayanti Langer after the two met during the much disgraced Indian Cricket League.
2. We all remember MS Dhoni‘s short-term romance with Deepika Padukone in 2007 when the actress was debuting with Shah Rukh Khan’s much-awaited film ‘Om Shanti Om’. Their affair was the talk of the town – Deepika was seen cheering for Dhoni and Team India in the T20 WC final at Johannesburg. Both have moved on since – Deepika is dating actor Ranveer Singh while Dhoni is happily married to the beautiful Sakshi.
1. Yup, you guessed it right! With Virat Kohli leading Indian team at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, Anushka Sharma is officially the country’s First Lady – in cricket at least. The pair met during the shoot of an ad commercial in December, and have been inseparable since! Virat welcomed the New Year partying with the actress and her friends, and the couple are rumored to be in a live-in relationship. The two lovebirds were pictured walking hand-in-hand on the streets of Auckland on Valentine’s Day! Great couple, right?