With Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) set to begin on February 9, players from Bollywood team Mumbai Heroes have started practice sessions to take on seven other teams — Chennai Rhinos, Kerala Strikers, Telugu Warriors, Veer Marathi, Bhojpuri Dabanggs, Karnataka Bulldozers and Bengal Tigers — in the third season of the CCL T20 League.
The team’s 16 players started practicing on Thursday at the Air India ground, Kalina, under Suniel Shetty’s captaincy. “The team didn’t fare well last year, but we hope a more regimented training schedule will be a catalyst for success,” says Suniel.
However, it’s not an easy task to get the entire team together to practice. “It is difficult as we are shooting for films, but we will do our best. The league starts in February, so we have time,” he says. Owned by Sohail Khan, Mumbai Heroes includes Bollywood stars like Bobby Deol, Aftab Shivdasani and Sonu Sood.
There has also been a reshuffle in the team this year as actor Riteish Deshmukh, who was the vice captain last year, has gone on to form his own team, Veer Marathi. Even Sohail is not playing. However, replacements for both actors haven’t been found yet.
Also, Salman, who turned up several times to cheer the team in the last two seasons, might not be around this time.
“He underwent a major surgery last year and might go for a medical check-up to the US around the same time as the CCL,” says an insider from the team.
Bollywood actor Bipasha Basu with Sohail Khan and Ritesh Deshmukh during announcement of Celebrity Cricket League 20-20 (CCL), in Mumbai on Wednesday night.