Australian hockey expert Josh Burt may have suffered a defeat at the hands of Shah Rukh Khan's girls in Chak De India, but in real life, Burt, inspired by the film, guided Victoria's women hockey team to victory in 2010!
The burly Aussie doesn't give an insight into how he felt after the loss in the film, but said his perception towards life and hockey changed after the acting stint.
Burt, who recently met this correspondent in Perth, said he got inclined to train women players.
“After my assignment with Shimit Amin (the director of Chak De India) was over in 2007, I got eager to taste victory,” he said.
“I took up the challenge of training a women's team that always finished with the wooden spoon in domestic competition."
What made his job easier was the experience gained during the film.
“The assignment with the Chak De team touched my heart,” he said about the time he spent training the girls. Reminiscing those days, Burt recollected how he began his day early --- training the Indian girls and chalking out plans for the next day with Amin.
Talking about his brush with acting, Burt burst out laughing.
“At first I thought (when he got a call from the director in late 2006) that someone was playing a prank.
“But the second call made me realise that I was heading into a different zone. I was excited because of my passion for hockey. It was tough but I enjoyed the job of training Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) and his team,” he said with a smile.
Though other offers followed from Mumbai, Burt declined them.
“My passion is hockey, not acting. It happened by chance and I cherish it,” said the expert whose drawing room dons a giant picture of the Chak De team.
Burt guiding Victoria to victory has a moral for women's hockey in India. Little has changed since the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the only instance women's team featured in the mega event.