Actor Neetu Chandra may deny knowing tainted Pakistani pacer Mohammed Asif, but calls exchanged between the two indicate otherwise. The two mark the latest instance when a Pakistani cricketer’s association with an Indian beauty has made headlines. HT City takes a look some other such romances, how they started, gained momentum and where these couples stand today.
Wasim Akram and Sushmita Sen
Akram and Sushmita became close during the TV show Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina that they both judged together in 2008. According to speculation the two broke their 6-month-old relationship recently over the issue of place of settlement. Sushmita however, dismissed the reports as “rubbish”.
Shoaib Akhtar - Sonali Bendre
The Rawalpindi express was derailed by Bollywood’s leggy lass, with many experts joking that Sonali should be made to stand on the cricket field to distract the bowler, who claimed in many interviews that he liked her. Buzz was strong in the early 2000s, that Shoaib had extended a marriage proposal to Bendre, and that his mother had asked him to leave the house if he married her. However, on being asked about Sonali, Shoaib had said that he hadn’t spoken to her.
Shoaib Akhtar - Dia Mirza
Soon after Shoaib and Sania married, Pakistani media reported that Shoaib Akhtar was marrying actor Dia Mirza. Pakistan’s Geo TV had quoted Dia as saying, ‘My wedding with Shoaib Akhtar would be even better than Sania’s’. Dia denied the news.
Shoaib Malik - Sayali Bhagat
The ex-Pakistan skipper was slated to act opposite the starlet in a Bollywood film in 2008. The two met at a store launch, and kept in touch since. At that time, Sayali had said, ‘It’s not easy, especially when he is in Pakistan, it’s so flattering, he makes special trips just for me and showers me with attention.” However, when Shoaib announced his marriage to Sania, Sayali dismissed her previous statements.
Shoaib Malik - Sania Mirza
Sania broke her engagement with childhood friend Sohrab Mirza to marry Malik in March. The two are now been married for 5 months.
Cricketer Mohsin Khan had a torrid romance with actress Reena Roy, and married her in 1983. The two had a daughter, and Khan even tried his luck in Bollywood.
The couple eventually divorced, and Khan remarried. Cricketer Imran Khan also had a long affair with actress Zeenat Aman in the 70s.
...others were bowled over too
Tiger Pataudi - Sharmila Tagore: After a long affair, the two married in 1969 and she converted to Islam.
Gary sobers - Anju Mahendroo: The West Indian cricketer was briefly engaged to the actress whom he met during the 1966-67 tour of India
Vivian Richards - Neena Gupta: Though two never married, they have a daughter named Masaba.
Ravi Shastri - Amrita Singh: Amrita was often spotted at Shastri’s matches and though there were rumours of an engagement, the affair did not last.
Mohd Azharuddin -Sangeeta Bijlani: They met in 1994. Sangeeta quit films to marry Azharuddin, who divorced his first wife.
Usman Afsal -Amrita Arora Amrita: Dating for four years, they split in 2008
Zaheer Khan - Isha Sharwani: An on-off couple since 2005, the two are currently together.
Yuvraj Singh - Kim Sharma: Together till 2007, they broke up as Yuvi’s mom disapproved of Kim.
Brett Lee - Preity Zinta:Despite rumours since the early 2000s, the two have denied any truth to them.