Cricket villain turns hero in Indo-Pak love story

  • Jasvinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 12, 2014 00:50 IST

Border tensions between India and Pakistan may be up, but that hasn’t stopped Pakistani director Faisal Bukhari from packing his suitcase for India to hunt for an actress for his new hero: banned Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

The film, ‘Blind Love’, which goes on the floor next month, is aimed at restoring the image of the 22-year-old cricketer, rated one of the best young talents in world cricket until his fall from grace in 2010.

Amir said the director was talking to Indian actress Elena Kazan who starred with Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod last year, but there was no confirmation.

“I am the hero of the film and my heroine will be an Indian. Don’t you think Pakistani people will like this combination? I am excited,” the left arm pacer, who spent six months in jail in Britain for his involvement in a cash–for-no-ball conspiracy, told HT from Lahore.

“As I know how to bowl an in-swinger, my director knows how to make a film. I was told that he is in talks with Elena Kazan. I think it doesn’t matter who the actress is as long as you work hard. But my favourite actress is Preity Zinta,” he added. “Of course, you have to try different ways to clean your image in the public. I want to be loved by Pakistani people again and hope this film will improve my image.”

Amir was hit with a five-year ban from cricket after he was caught in a tabloid newspaper sting along with captain Salman Butt and pace partner Mohammad Asif agreeing to bowl no balls to order. The ban is due to end in September 2015, when Amir says he will go back to the sport. Before he was banned by the ICC, the 18-year-old Amir became the youngest bowler to take 50 Test wickets.

Bukhari said Indian producer Boney Kapoor was helping him find a suitable actress for his film, both a crime and love story packed with everything from a bank robbery to romance.

“The film will be completely Pakistani, but our script is interesting and meant for an Indian actress. Boney Kapoor is working to find out a good actress. He has sent some profiles,” said Bukhari.

“Amir’s bad phase is going to end soon. If he performs well, people will love him. He is young. He wants to reform. He also deserves a chance like everybody. I find an amazing protagonist in him because he himself is a story.”

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