Ok, our actors seem to get crazier by the day with cricket. And it all started from a phenomenon called Lagaan and it made Aamir Khan one of the legends of Bollywood. Then his fiercest rival, Shah Rukh Khan took it in his stride and endorsed Pepsi, with the great Sachin Tendulkar which makes him the king of marketing till date. Then there were movies like Victory where a desperate Harman Baweja wants to make himself famous across the world when he hits Brett Lee for a six, even if its reel! I mean why is cricket such a hit amongst our actors, when their profession is filled with glamour and not with action with bat and ball?
Yes, the best possible answer is the emergence of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. It made cricket marry Bollywood in the best possible way as actors are perhaps in the same class of society as businessmen. Although the beautiful Sharmila Tagore married Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Neena Gupta had a love child with Sir Vivian Richards, it never struck anyone that Bollywood had a connection with cricket.
Coming back to the IPL, Lalit Modi used all his charm to woo Preity Zinta to own a huge stake in Kings XI Punjab. And didn’t Preity oblige well enough? Well, she had a boyfriend already in the name of Ness Wadia with whom she could mix business and pleasure. Perhaps Ms. Zinta is a little old, so thought that a double-date would certainly help her rule the game of cricket. And what better than the dashing playboy of Indian cricket, Yuvraj Singh being her puppet since he was the icon player of the team. Preity called the shots by buying Brett Lee, who she has a crush on as well going by the interviews and photos circulated in the media. She loves cricket and indeed wants to rule it. Maybe she wants to return to Bollywood at the age of 35 because she has the hots to woo any actor since she can woo boring cricketers! Preity, your presence has been a pleasure for all of us to watch and has made Kings XI Punjab such an interesting team to watch because it depends on your mood whether the team will win or lose.
In 2008, the IPL also saw the Royal Challengers Bangalore being created by liquor baron and a known ladies man, Vijay Mallya. Mallya marketed the team well enough by picking up a Test team for a T-20 championship and also flying in US cheerleaders for the opening ceremony. However, Preity Zinta’s presence made him crave for an actress. And the actress who accepted the invitation was the ravishing and beautiful Katrina Kaif. It seemed that Mallya wasn’t happy being accompanied by Katrina everytime she rendered herself available. And the team was getting distracted with her being around as they finished 7th in the first season. So Mallya thought, lets get Deepika Padukone as well. Shes a Bangalore girl, and for certain much more of a sports fan than Katrina which would make Dippy baby available on a regular basis. And here comes in Deepika. Anything in two is always better than one and it worked for Mallya as his team did well in the next two seasons. And whats more, Deepika has been a better investment than Katrina since she has wooed his son, Siddhartha Mallya so much that now they are in a relationship. Deepika certainly rules the franchise since Bangalore gains enough publicity with her personal life always spoken about, and the cricketers can always be entertained with her sensuous looks and desperacy for the younger Mallya, whereas Vijay Mallya can look after Katrina well. And whats more, Deepika and Katrina are pure enemies and cat fights are the perfect entertainment for otherwise boring days for them, where they are just playing and nothing else. I must say, the future of Royal Challengers Bangalore is set to be great as Mallya has two hot actresses by his side and cricket will never be the same again to watch.
2009 saw Shilpa Shetty enter IPL just as her compatriot, Preity Zinta. She bought a 12.5% stake in the Rajasthan Royals with her shorty firang partner, Raj Kundra. And with Shilpa being in full flow, Rajasthan were only going to benefit the most. Shane Warne, the womanizer that he is, would have cashed in this opportunity and perhaps felt that his IPL future is set with her being around, so what if he is 40+? And look, he was retained by Rajasthan for this years IPL too. Yusuf Pathan looked so desperate with Shilpa Shetty watching him as he won the Super Over against his current employers Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009 and also in 2010, scored a 36-ball 100 against Mumbai Indians. Shilpa loves Yusuf for his power-hitting and so Rajasthan wins everytime Yusuf feels like giving back to her the compliments she deserves. Anyways the whole team is filled with young players, who surely are gullible to Shilpa’s beauty and as a result, Rajasthan Royals also matches Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders in making the IPL a global brand due to the glamour quotient present in large numbers.
And lastly, Kolkata Knight Riders has Shah Rukh Khan as their owner, making it by far the most popular team in the IPL just as Manchester United in the EPL. However, Shah Rukh seems to have taken all attention since his team has failed in all the three seasons. He actually is the ruler of cricket since he calls the shots on the players and is involved in decisions such as making Baz or Brendon McCullum the captain of the team in the 11th hr in South Africa or making Sourav Ganguly a mere puppet in the hands of John Buchanan, the former coach.
Bollywood certainly loves cricket as there is drama, action, comedy, romance which is present in movies too. And ofcourse money and power too, which superstars crave for.
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