Venkatesh Prasad the actor
Venkatesh Prasad has ventured into cricket coaching since retiring from competitive cricket, but for a change, the cameras will be on him.
The former India seamer makes his acting debut in in the Kannada film Sachin, Tendulkar Alla (Sachin, not Tendulkar), as coach to the protagonist Sachin, an autistic boy who is mad about cricket and idolises some record-breaking India batsman he was named after.
Prasad had initially been reluctant to jump ship but the opportunity to work with Suhasini Maniratnam, a veteran of South Indian cinema, had been the clincher. His former new-ball partner Javagal Srinath is also part of the film.
"At first, I told him [the director] that I would not be interested, but as I listened to the story and my character narration, I was intrigued," he told Times of India. "Add to that the fact that Suhasini was in the film, and I was hooked. Suhasini is a dear friend of the family, and, as an actress who has done hundreds of films, we have sort of grown up on her work. I took up the film only for her."
Even if his inspiration had caused some nerves to flare.
"The camera didn't bother me at all, until, of course, I had to share screen space with Suhasini. I literally had butterflies in my stomach each time I had to emote or say a dialogue."
The movie had released on July 11 and has received warm reviews.