In India, Cricket and Cinema are like two best buddies. People here cherish these two gigs more than anything else. You won’t believe how eager folks get to learn when their beloved actor or actress will drop their next big movie, just so they can chalk out their weekend plans with a grin. And oh boy, if it’s time for an India cricket match, especially against Pakistan, folks are all set to drop anything and everything to catch it live. Yep, you guessed it right, Cricketers and actors share the same limelight, and they’re handsomely rewarded for it too. It’s kind of neat how some cricketers have even tried their luck in movies – like dipping their toes in both ponds. Here is an updated list of the most popular cricketers in movies:
1 of 19 Cricketers in Movies: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar, oh, he’s like a legend in the world of cricket, known as one of the absolute best Batsmen to ever grace the game. People all around just couldn’t help but admire the way he handled those super speedy deliveries. You know what’s really cool? Gavaskar got honored with the Arjuna Award, a big deal in Indian sports, and the prestigious Padma Bhushan, a civilian award that’s like a cherry on top.
Now here’s the fun part – not only was he a cricket maestro, but he also tried his hand at acting. Yeah, you heard me right. He was the star of the Marathi movie “Savli Premachi.” And wait for it, there’s more! He even had a guest appearance in a Hindi movie from ’88 called “Maalamaal.” In that one, he shared the screen with the likes of Naseeruddin Shah and Satish Shah, who were in pretty big roles themselves.
2 of 19: Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja, a real standout from the ’90s era of Indian cricket. This guy made waves as part of the national cricket team back then. You know what’s still talked about? His shining moment in the 1996 Cricket World Cup quarter-final against Pakistan in Bengaluru. That was like a gem of an innings that cricket fans still hold close to their hearts.
He didn’t just stop at cricket, though. He took a shot at acting too. And guess what? He shared screen space with biggies like Sunny Deol and Sunil Shetty in the 2003 movie “Khel.” And that’s not all – he was also in the 2009 movie “Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat,” which was directed by V.K.Kumar. Oh, and here’s a twist – he even showed off his dancing skills on the celebrity dance show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.” But wait, there’s more. He made a little appearance in the movie “Kai Po Che!” directed by Abhishek Kapoor, playing himself in a cricket commentator’s role.
3 of 19: Vinod Kambli
Vinod Kambli – you’ve got to know this guy! He’s a real deal Indian cricketer, and he was all about those powerful left-handed strokes, playing right in the middle of the action. But here’s where it gets even cooler – he didn’t just stick to the cricket field.
Ever caught him on TV? Yep, he’s been all over, giving his insights as a commentator on different channels. He even hopped on board with a Marathi News channel to share his cricket wisdom during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. And get this, he’s not shy of the camera at all – he’s been on reality shows, showing off more of his real self, and even gave acting a shot.
Movies? You bet! He was part of films like “Annarth” and “Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat.” Oh, and don’t think he stopped at Hindi movies, he even made his mark in a Kannada film called “Bettanagere.” This guy, he’s like a cricket star and an entertainment all-rounder.
4 of 19: Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev, the former Indian cricketer, holds a special place in cricket history. Leading the Indian cricket team to victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, he achieved a remarkable feat. We remember him not just as a captain, but as the first Indian captain to clinch the prestigious Cricket World Cup. Adding to his legacy, he still holds the record as the youngest captain to achieve this honor across all teams.
Fondly known as the Haryana Hurricane, Kapil Dev’s cricket skills were versatile. He showcased his talent as a right-arm fast bowler and a right-handed batsman. His unique abilities set him apart. In the realm of Test cricket, he stands alone – being the only cricketer to score more than 5,000 runs and take over 400 wickets.
Kapil’s journey extended beyond the cricket field. He even made appearances in films, making his mark in movies like “Dillagi… Yeh Dillagi,” “lqbal,” “Chain Khuli ki Main Khuli,” and “Mujhse Shaadi Karogi,” to name a few. His charm transcended sports.
In 2021, Kapil’s remarkable life story was captured in the biopic “83.” The film showcased his journey, with Ranveer Singh playing the titular role. The star-studded cast included Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, and Saqib Saleem, among other talents. Interestingly, Kapil even made a cameo appearance as a spectator – a full circle moment reflecting his enduring connection with the sport.
Kapil Dev’s narrative goes beyond statistics; it’s a tale of passion, triumph, and the human spirit’s resilience.
5 of 19 Cricketers in Movies: Syed Kirmani
Before M.S. Dhoni’s era, Syed Kirmani held the title of India’s most skilled wicket-keeper. He gained fame as the top wicket-keeper of the victorious 1983 World Cup team from India. Among his many achievements, this one shines bright.
Interestingly, Kirmani ventured into the world of movies as well. In 1985, a film titled ‘Kabhi Ajnabi The’ featured him, stepping into the role of a villain. It was an unexpected turn for the cricket star, showing his versatility beyond the field.
Jumping ahead to 2012, Kirmani made another appearance on the big screen, this time in a Malayalam movie called ‘Mazhavillinattam Vare.’ Though a cameo, it was a special moment for his fans and a reminder of his enduring presence in different spheres of entertainment.
Syed Kirmani’s journey echoes the essence of exploring new horizons while cherishing the roots that made him a celebrated wicket-keeper and a familiar face in Indian cinema.
6 of 19: Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil was the actor cast as the hero alongside Syed Kirmani, who took on the role of the villain in ‘Kabhi Ajnabi The’. In that cinematic tale, their on-screen dynamics brought a touch of drama and excitement, just like the real matches they played on the cricket field.
7 of 19: Salil Ankola
Salil Ankola’s cricket journey might not have reached great heights, yet a remarkable detail shines through – he debuted in Test cricket in the same match as the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Although his appearances in ODIs remained few, destiny had more in store for him.
Transitioning away from the cricket pitch, Salil set his sights on the realm of Bollywood and TV. The world of entertainment beckoned, and he embraced it. His presence graced movies like “Kurukshetra,” “Pitaah,” “Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne,” “Silence Please…The Dressing Room,” and “Riwayat.” Notably, his journey extended to popular TV serials like “Ssshhhh…Koi Hai” and “Chahat aur Nafrat,” among others.
In Salil Ankola’s narrative, there’s a sense of exploration and evolution – from cricketing greens to the glitz of the entertainment industry, his story resonates with the twists and turns that make life’s journey captivating.
8 of 19: Yograj Singh
Yograj Singh, a former cricketer, represented India in one Test match and six One Day Internationals. He bowled as a right-arm fast-medium. Interestingly, he’s the father of Yuvraj Singh, who is also a well-known cricketer.
But Yograj Singh’s talents don’t stop at the cricket field. He’s made a name for himself in the world of cinema too. You might have seen him on the silver screen quite often. He’s acted in more than 30 Punjabi films and 10 Hindi films. One of his most memorable roles was portraying Milkha Singh’s coach in the movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” starring Farhan Akhtar. People truly appreciated his dedicated performance in that role.
9 of 19: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh’s journey in cricket has truly touched the hearts of his fans. His impact on the world of sports is enormous. Back in 2012, the Government of India recognized his achievements by bestowing upon him the Arjuna Award, a prestigious honor in the sports realm. Then, in 2014, he was proudly granted the Padma Shri, a distinguished civilian award, showcasing his significant contributions.
But Yuvraj’s talents don’t end with cricket. Did you know that he began his entertainment career at a young age? As a mere 11-year-old, he made his appearance as a child artist in the Punjabi film “Mehndi Shagna Di,” released in 1992.
And there’s more to his creative pursuits. Yuvraj tried his hand at being a voiceover artist too. In 2008, he lent his voice to a character in the animated film “Jumbo.” So, he’s not just excelling in cricket, but he’s also exploring various forms of artistic expression.
10 of 19 Cricketers in Movies: Harbhajan Singh
The Indian off-spin bowler took a step into the world of movies with a Punjabi film titled “Bha Ji in Problem,” which came out in 2013. It’s amazing to see how he ventured beyond the cricket field and tried his hand at something new.
11 of 19: Salim Durani
Salim Durani holds a special place in cricket history as the very first cricketer to be honored with the Arjuna Award. Beyond his remarkable skills on the cricket pitch, he had a unique knack for connecting with the crowd’s excitement by smashing those incredible sixes. It’s stories like these that make him more than just a cricketer – he’s a symbol of that electric bond between players and fans.
And did you know that Durani even tried his hand at acting? He stepped onto the silver screen in the movie “Charitra,” where he shared the screen with the talented Parveen Babi. It’s incredible to think of how he ventured into different worlds and left his mark.
12 of 19: Sachin Tendulkar
After achieving many incredible records in the world of cricket, the Master Blaster took on a new adventure by starring in his very own life story, a movie called ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’. This special film journeyed through his life, and it hit more than 2800 screens all around the globe, making it a big success and breaking lots of box-office records that still stand today.
13 of 19: S. Sreesanth
Sreesanth stepped into the world of Tollywood with a movie named ‘Team 5’. He played the main role, starring alongside Nikki Galrani. And now, the young man from Kerala is all set to take his first steps in Bollywood with the upcoming film ‘Aksar 2’. He is one of the hottest cricketers worldwide.
14 of 19: Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan, the well-loved sports icon, shines brightly among the stars. He’s known for his spirited presence in the Punjab Kings of the Indian Premier League and representing Delhi in the realm of first-class cricket. But now, a new chapter unfolds as Shikhar takes his first step into acting, starring in “Double XL” alongside Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha. Mark your calendars for November 4, the day this exciting film hits the screens.
In the midst of his journey, Shikhar shared his thoughts on his new role: “Life as an athlete, devoted to the nation, is a whirlwind. Amidst the rush, one of my cherished pastimes is losing myself in a good, captivating film. When this unique chance came my way and I delved into the story, it struck a chord within me. It carries a beautiful message for society as a whole, and I hold hope that countless young hearts, both girls and boys, will keep chasing their dreams against all odds.”
15 of 19 Cricketers in Movies: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan stepped into the world of movies with his debut in the cricket movie Cobra. This exciting movie, released in 2022, is an Indian Tamil-language psychological action thriller. The creative mind behind it is R. Ajay Gnanamuthu, while the production was brought to life by S. S. Lalit Kumar through the 7 Screen Studio.
The film itself showcases Vikram in a dual role, sharing the screen with Irfan Pathan, Roshan Mathew, Sarjano Khalid, Srinidhi Shetty, Mirnalini Ravi, Miya George, K. S. Ravikumar, Anandaraj, Robo Shankar, and Meenakshi Govindarajan, who all contribute their talents in supporting roles. Notably, this movie serves as a significant debut for Irfan Pathan in the world of cinema. It’s also a special moment for Srinidhi Shetty, Sarjano Khalid, and Roshan Mathew, as they mark their entry into Tamil cinema.
A. R. Rahman’s musical genius adds emotion to the film’s journey, while Harish Kannan’s cinematography and the editing duo of John Abraham and Bhuvan Srinivasan shape the visual and narrative aspects. The story revolves around Interpol officer Aslan Yilmaz, assigned with the challenging task of apprehending a cunning assassin named Cobra. This killer’s unique approach involves using mathematical skills to intelligently carry out the assassinations.
16 of 19: Navjot Singh Sidhu
In the world of cricket movies, Navjot Singh Sidhu graced the screen in the 2009 movie Victory. This cricket-centered tale weaves an epic narrative around the lives of Vijay Shekhawat (played by Harman Baweja) and his father Ram Shekhawat (portrayed by Anupam Kher). Ram holds grand dreams for his son Vijay, envisioning him one day donning the jersey of the Indian cricket team. Miraculously, this dream does come true as Vijay secures a spot in the prestigious Indian team.
Standing firmly by his side since his earliest tryst with cricket is his childhood friend Nandini (played by Amrita Rao), who has unwavering faith in his abilities. She has been his constant supporter, never doubting him for a moment. Yet, the tale takes a somber turn when Vijay’s time in the spotlight is fleeting. He loses not only his place in the team but also the hard-earned respect, all due to the overpowering influence of his newfound fame.
It’s a story that touches upon the highs and lows of success, the undying support of friends, and the struggle to keep one’s feet firmly planted when faced with the intoxication of recognition.
17 of 19: Brett Lee
Brett Lee, the ex-Australian cricket player, made his very first appearance in a film called “UnIndian,” which is a cool collaboration between India and Australia. The movie is being directed by Anupam Sharma and has some amazing actors like Tannishtha Chatterjee, Supriya Pathak, and Akash Khurana in it.
You know what’s really neat? A big part of the film was actually shot in Sydney, and get this – they even included a colorful Holi scene. The music for the movie was put together by the popular duo Salim-Suleiman, and I bet it’s going to be awesome.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact: This fast bowler, who’s playing the main role in the movie, already tried his hand at acting about 20 years ago in a film called “Babe.”
18 of 19: Mohsin Khan
The former Pakistani cricketer, who once held the important role of being the chief selector for the Pakistan national cricket team, stepped into the world of Bollywood back in 1989. He made his Bollywood debut with a film called “Batwara,” directed by JP Dutta. You know what’s cool? The movie had a bunch of amazing actors like Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, Poonam Dhillon, Shammi Kapoor, and Amrish Puri.
And wait, there’s more! He didn’t stop there – he also acted in other films like “Fateh,” where he shared the screen with Sanjay Dutt, and “Saathi” in 1991 alongside Aditya Pancholi. It was the popular Mahesh Bhatt who directed this one. But hold on, there’s an extra twist to his Bollywood journey. He actually ended up marrying the yesteryear actress Reena Roy, and guess what? They have a lovely daughter together.
Furthermore, he didn’t just stick to Bollywood. He also took part in a few Urdu films in Pakistan. Quite a journey, don’t you think?
19 of 19 Cricketers in Movies: Shane Warne
The ex-Australian cricketer played a role in many shows, such as the Soap Opera Neighbours. He even mentioned that he might consider this Bollywood opportunity later this year, once the cricket season wraps up. Shane has spoken before about his Bollywood dreams, and if everything falls into place, he could really step into the world of Hindi cinema. Shane dies in 2022, and the same year the documentary “Shane” was released.
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