Whenever any person of Pakistani origin is involved in an Indian project, there are always apprehensions about unwanted incidents happening. The controversy surrounding Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan over the actor’s comments on excluding Pakistani cricketers from the Indian Premiere League is still fresh. Still, director Nikhil Advani has no intention of editing Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal out of his forthcoming film, Patiala House, featuring Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma.
The filmmaker attributes the cricketer’s batting skills to his inclusion in the movie. “I required a good batsman for Akshay to bowl to, and Akmal is a good stroke-player,” he says, adding that there is a good mix of players from various countries, including Australia, South Africa and England.
Advani further stresses that Akmal features in just one match and barely lasts an over of six balls. “So it’s not a major role either. I don’t anticipate any problems over his inclusion in the film,” he maintains.
When asked about pressure from certain political factions when the film’s release date nears, Advani explains, “In case anyone has objections, I’ll show them the film. Then they can see it for themselves. Cricketers from different countries are playing for the championship, so I don’t see any reason why I should single out Akmal and edit him out of my film.” Interestingly, Kumar doesn’t bowl the Pakistani batsman out either. “Well, Akmal gets run out,” reveals Advani. Maybe Kumar will score at the box-office with Patiala House, after Tees Maar Khan failed to make the most of a flying start.