Actor Emraan Hashmi, who plays former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin in upcoming biopic Azhar, says the movie discusses the issue of match-fixing in cricket like it has never been shown on the silver screen before.
Hashmi says the role was challenging as the movie chronicles the former Indian skipper’s take on match-fixing scandal.
On November 27, 2000, Azharuddin was found guilty of match-fixing, and after eight days the former cricketer- politician was banned from the game for life by BCCI. In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban.
“When we watch a match, we are only aware of what is happening on the field. Nobody knows what happens in the locker rooms, hotels, corridors conversations of cricketers and their relationships. How they get into match-fixing scandals? He has given us a lot of stuff, which we did not know earlier, for this film,” Hashmi said.
The actor said Azharuddin shared all the anecdotes related to his personal and professional life in Azhar.
“He was very frank with us. He is a real person. He has given us all the anecdotes about his life.”
The Humari Adhuri Kahani star, who had earlier played a bookie in Jannat, said he had to go through a lot of training to play the cricketer.
“Lot of research work went into it, right from meeting the man himself for weeks and months when he was in Mumbai. I have never done a film where I had to do this kind of research.
“We, generally, don’t do such films in Bollywood. In this film, we are narrating the story of a man, who is alive. He will judge you harshly after seeing the end result.”
Not a cricket enthusiast, Hashmi has now developed an interest in the game as he understands it technically.
“I didn’t have any technical skills. I got slightly better after this. I had to play like him, mimic him... So, there was a lot of practice.”
Directed by Tony D’Souza, Azhar is based on the well-known and highly talked about incidents and facts of the cricketer’s life. The film is releasing on May 13.
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