After the cricket hysteria surrounding the World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL), four Indian film industries have come together and formed the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL). Based out of Chennai, this league will bring film fraternities from the south and Bollywood together to battle each other for the top spot.
The first season will consist of four teams — Bollywood, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries — who will play six league matches and one final game. Suniel Shetty with Salman Khan as the Icon Player will lead Mumbai Heroes – the Bollywood cricket franchise — owned by Sohail Khan Entertainment. Sudeep will lead the Kannada team, Surya will helm the Tamil team and Victory Venkatesh will guide the Telugu team. “It will be a unique coming together of cinema and cricket,” says Shetty, “The idea was to combine India’s two most celebrated religions — cricket and films.” “The selection of the final teams will be based on how good the celebrity player is, but they may also pick some people purely for the glam quotient and promotional purposes,” informs an insider.
Bollywood’s team has been practicing from 7 pm to 11 pm every day for the last week. Suniel, who was a regular at the stadium during the recent World Cup, wants to be ready. “We plan to play matches over the weekend. Despite our busy schedules, all of us have committed time for this purpose. We have pretty decent players and six weeks are enough to practice our fielding and bowling,” says Shetty. The team has a few all-rounders like Sohail Khan, Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh and other players like Shabbir Ahluwalia, Sonu Sood, Kunal Kemmu, Ashish Chowdhry, Kabir Sadanad, Varun Badola, Makarand Deshpande and Mahesh Manjrekar. “We’re playing for fun, fitness and charity. The proceeds from this will go to the backend workers in the various film industries involved with the CCL.” The event will take off with an inaugural ceremony and league fixtures will take place on June 4 in Bengaluru, June 5 in Chennai and on June 11 in Vishakhapatnam.
The finals will be held in Hyderabad on June 12. The games will be aired on television too.