February 8, 2011

Akram coaches Akshay Kumar?

Akhila Ranganna

Cricketers have made their presence felt on the silver screen often enough; films like The Final Test have featured cameos from Len Hutton, Denis Compton, Godfrey Evans and Jim Laker, while Salim Durani, Derek Pringle, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja among others, have all tried their hand at acting. And in the latest such alliance between the film industry and cricketers, the Bollywood film ‘Patiala House’, which is slated to release later this week, features an ensemble cast of cricketers – former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram, former England captains Nasser Hussain and Graham Gooch, South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs and Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds. "The film is about a cricketer's life and therefore we have taken many cricketers as actors so that we can get a real look for the film,"Nikhil Advani, the director of the film, told AFP. The film starring Akshay Kumar, is set in the west London suburb of Southall and tracks tensions between a traditional Punjabi father and his son Gattu, played by Kumar, who aspires to play cricket for England (shades of Monty Panesar?). It is rumoured that Akram plays the role of young Gattu’s bowling coach and some scenes of the film have been reportedly shot at The Oval in London. Another Bend it Like Beckham in the making?

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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