Bollywood stars’ earliest cricket memories are pitch perfect

  • Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 10, 2016 16:20 IST
Akshay Kumar almost danced with joy when India won the 1983 World Cup. (Yogen Shah/HT photo)

India is known to be particularly crazy about two things — cricket and Bollywood. So, with the World T20 underway, we got some of the most ardent cricket fans from the film industry to talk about their earliest memories of the game. While Akshay Kumar remembered jumping with joy when India won the 1983 World Cup, Sushant Singh Rajput revealed that it was his sister who took him to watch his first live international match.

Akshay Kumar, actor

One of my earliest experiences of watching cricket is of the 1983 World Cup, when Kapil Dev led the Indian team to victory. I remember getting nervous when the team got all out for just 183 in the finals, and then Vivian Richards (former West Indian cricketer) hit our bowlers all over the park. As a young fan, I remember almost dancing with joy when Kapil paaji lifted the World Cup trophy at Lord’s (UK). Cricket has me hooked ever since.

Sushant Singh Rajput, actor

My sister used to play professional cricket, and would take me to all her matches. She was my first coach; I started enjoying this sport because of her. She was the one who took me to watch my first live international cricket match; it was between India and Pakistan. It was surreal to watch the likes of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi play in front of me. I can never forget that match.

Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister used to play professional cricket. (Hindustan Times)

READ: Sushant and Tendulkar’s son bond over cricket

Aditya Roy Kapur, actor

My earliest memory of watching cricket is from the 1996 World Cup. I remember Romesh Kaluwitharana and Sanath Jayasuriya (both former Sri Lankan cricketers) going crazy in the first 15 overs, and changing the one-day game format. Also, I remember Ajay Jadeja smashing Waqar Younis in the quarter finals, and Venkatesh Prasad sending Aamir Sohail to the pavilion. It was one of the most fun tournaments; it made me a cricket lover for life.

READ: Bollywood and cricket set for a face-off: Who will win this year?

Aditya Roy Kapur became a cricket fan after the 1996 World Cup. (Hindustan Times)

Ayushmann Khurrana, actor

My first memories are of the 1992 World Cup. I was around eight, and I was fascinated with coloured jerseys and kits, white balls and day-and-night matches. I remember the India-Pakistan clash, when Javed Miandad danced in front of Kiran More. I loved the crystal ball trophy and Imran Khan’s philanthropy-laced speech when Pakistan won. But I enjoyed the 1996 World Cup the most, as I was playing district level under-14 cricket, as a wicketkeeper-batsman at that time.

Ayushmann Khurrana was a district-level wicket-keeper batsman. (Hindustan Times)

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