If you are injured, how did you agree to be a part of a dance reality show,
Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena?
The show was offered to me after the Lux event with Priyanka Chopra. I wasn’t playing then and the concept of cricketers dancing with TV stars seemed interesting.
(Akram) was to judge it along with Sushmita Sen. He has always been very supportive, I have worked with him on my pace bowling and reverse swing. Even on the show, he was very encouraging.
How did you get permission from BCCI for the show when a series was on?
I had time off. And dancing doesn’t aggravate an injury.
Apparently, Surveen Chawla and you didn’t hit it off.
She was my dancing partner and is a good friend. If you’ve watched the show you would have seen that we were in perfect sync.
Yes, I’ve seen the show and I noticed the cold vibes between Harbhajan Singh and you. So the after-effects of the Slapgate controversy continue.
is my senior, he’s been around for 10 years. I’ve come in just three years ago. Whatever happened has been put behind and we’ve moved on.
Today, when you talk about the incident, it’s like asking a three year old if he has issues with a 10 year old. We got along fine during the show. We even had dinner with Sachin (Tendulkar) that night after the incident.
Did you give Harbhajan Singh any tips on dancing during
and stuff. He’s even walked the ramp a couple of years ago, with Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Kaif. We spoke the day I did my catwalk. We are different people but we enjoy playing for the country together.
Since you are the better dancer, you must have been upset when Harbhajan along with Mona Singh, walked away with the trophy?
Why should I be upset? It was a reality show. I wasn’t expecting anything. I’m happy Bhajji
Sushmita Sen wants to dance with you on screen.
I’m not an item dancer. If it is a full-fledged acting role, I might consider, but an item number, sorry. I’d rather walk the ramp with all those beautiful legs. (Laughs)
Without being biased, tell us who in your opinion was the best female dancer?
Just good friend, huh?
Buzz is that you even introduced her to your parents as your girlfriend.
I’m not seeing anyone. I’m single and happy playing cricket. Surveen and I were only seeing each other while shooting the show at Mehboob Studio.
And if you don’t know what that means, watch Friends. It’ll help you realise that a man and a woman can be friends without being romantically involved.
Weren’t you romantically involved with Shonali Nagrani earlier?
I’m not married. I’m single and being a celeb I should be allowed to lead my own life without anyone bringing it up all the time. I respect women and I don’t like to be always refuting rumours that involve them. Neither Surveen nor Shonali, I’m seeing no one, got that?
Are you still in touch with Priyanka Chopra?
Yes, but she has been really busy. We caught up during the Fashion Week. I see all her films, I was dancing to a song from
Love Story 2050
sometime ago. Now I have to catch
, I’ve heard she’s fab!
Apparently, at the Fashion Week, Shriya Saran made a play for you?
Now where did that come from? We met at a party after the show and that was it. God, these ridiculous stories! Can we get back on track?
Okay, when do you start playing cricket again?
There is still time. I’ll be playing for Kerela for the Ranji Trophy this month, to prove my fitness.
Think you will be able to make it for the England tour?
I’m a simple guy with big dreams. There’s lot of competition, good bowlers like Munaf Patel and R P Singh are sitting on the bench.
I know I’m good but I have to work hard to get back into the team. I’ve been working on my fitness. I want to be back on the field, taking wickets.
Do you think the appointment of Krishnamachari Srikanth as the chairman of the selection committee and Gary Kirsten as coach has benefitted Team India?
Although I’m following the game on the field, I’m not clued into what’s happening behind the scenes. The team’s playing well and it’s great to see them at an advantage.
The second season of the IPL promises to be bigger and better. Tempted to switch sides?
No, I’m content to stay with Mohali, I’m very loyal to Preity Zinta. Now it depends on what they want.
I’m happy playing the game. Money will come and go.. cricket is what matters. That’s why it rankles when I’m injured and sitting out. When I’m fit, no one is anywhere close to me.
Think you’ll be able to control your temper better during the next season of IPL?
I’ve always been able to control my temper. And I have no regrets. I don’t want be a superstar, I just want to play good cricket. And I know I’m getting better every day.