With cricketer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and actor Anusmriti Sarkar being the new duo, we explore this happenstance that plays cupid.
When the country’s two most eminent entertainment industries are talked about together, there’s always room for love stories! Cricketers have been linked with actresses in gossip and in real life so often that one is curious about how these celebrities meet and click.
“I guess it’s the mutual attraction, similar thought process and their respective glamorous yet demanding professions that has huge fan following,” explains Arshad Ayub, former Indian cricketer and President of HCA. “Normally, cricketers don’t have time to socialise, but with IPL, they may meet on occasions like post-match parties. There’s a glamour factor prevalent in both sports and showbiz that always makes them go hand in hand,” he says.
Actress Raai Laxmi, who was linked to former Indian captain M.S. Dhoni, says her relationship with the former Team India captain was needlessly played up by the media and misconstrued. They were just good friends.
“I first met Dhoni when I was chosen to be the brand ambassador of the IPL Franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK). To support the game, I needed to understand the game, and as I spent most of the time with the team, rumours grew. There was nothing there, media just wants masala,” she said.
But the question still remains as to how they get to meet and then become more than friends as both cricketers and filmstars lead busy, demanding lives.
It’s not really hard to guess that these celebrities have many common friends. Both industries coincide at several opportunities like the IPL, or at charities, or the most common being commercials!
Anushka and Virat hit it off instantly after they first met while shooting for a commercial together. Dhoni and Deepika shot for an ad together and soon after there were rumours of a relationship. The likes of Yuvraj and Hazel, Harbhajan and Geeta Basra, and Zaheer Khan and Sagarika apparently first met at their common friends’ hangout places, pubs and restaurants, and bonded instantly.
Geeta Basra says, “It’s not about profession, it’s about clicking with each other’s personality... but when both are known figures, they’re able to understand each other professionally too and what comes with it, especially being in the public eye.”
Raai Laxmi adds, “Both actors and cricketers hog the limelight. At several common platforms from sports to charity to entertainment, we are together. If you fall in love, it’s your choice, we are humans and we get emotional. There’s no rocket science.”
Cricketer Pragyan Ojha, who has been part of Team India and hobnobbed with the likes of Dhoni, Harbhajan and Yuvraj, feels that whenever an actor and cricketer are spotted together, they are wrongly portrayed. “We like to take some time off from the game and socialise. And that depends on the cricketer’s choice as to who he likes to hang out with. But when a cricketer and an actress are seeing each other and entering into wedlock, it’s not because of their professions, but more because they understand each other well.”
Regardless of all this talk of personal choices, no one can deny the chemistry between cricketers and actresses. And to prove that, we have a long list of lovers in the country starting all the way back from Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore, to the recently married Yuvraj and Hazel. And of course, Bhuvneshwar and Anusmriti!
Virat Kohli-Anushka Sharma
Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra
Yuvraj Singh-Hazel Keech
Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge
Yuvraj Singh-Kim Sharma
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore
Viv Richards-Neena Gupta
Mohammed Azharuddin- Sangeeta Bijlani
Imran Khan-Zeenat Aman
Ravi Shastri-Amrita Singh
Shane Warne-Elizabeth Hurley
‘We Met through common friends’
Sagarika Ghatge, Zaheer Khan’s fiancee
Zaheer is so grounded and down to earth. His humble personality attracted me. We met through some common friends and later, as time progressed, we started understanding each other better over the last couple of years.
‘It’s about striking a chemistry’
Priya Thalur, well-known model, married cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji
“Fashion shows, brand shoots or other social events see a mix of people from various industries — cricket, films and fashion being a part of them. So yes, there are many chances of meeting, but taking it forward is a very personal thing.
I understand it is quite common to see personalities from these fields starting a relationship, but it actually has less to do with the professions. Once you strike a chemistry with the other, you no longer attribute the profession’s tag to them. It’s just two people getting along and sharing their lives together.”
Inputs from Niveda Manohar and Balajee C.R.