Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganuly and Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty along with a host of film and television actors Sunday played a soccer match to raise funds for the victims of Cyclone Aila.
The Vidyasagar stadium at Barasat, 30 km from here, had a packed 25,000 strong crowd as the stars managed to raise Rs.2.5 million for donation to the chief minister's relief fund. State Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty rose to the occasion to announce that his department will provide another Rs.1 million.
Ganguly, whose first love was soccer before he took up cricket seriously, led the television star XI and regaled the crowd with his soccer sense and dribbling, but missed two golden chances by a whisker before finding the net in the tie-breaker.
Chakraborty led the film stars XI that won 4-2.
Several stars from the Bengali film industry including Rituparna Sengupta, Koel Malluick and Sreelekha Mitra cheered the players who included Jishu Segnupta, Abhishek Chatterjee and Rudraneel.
Crooner Usha Uthup rendered popular numbers to add to the fun-filled evening, which also saw Mithun emulate Michael Jackson's 'moonwalk' much to the spectators' delight.
The cyclone tore through 13 of the state's 19 districts of West Bengal May 25-26, leaving a trail of destruction with houses levelled, trees uprooted, power cables snapped and 138 lives lost. Around 6.1 million people were affected.