Top sportspersons to donate memorablia
The auction, followed by a black-tie sit-down dinner, will be attended by top names from business, sport, cinema and politics at the Hotel Oberoi. The gala will be hosted by Harsha Bhogle and Cyrus Brocha who have not charged any fees.
Four of the 25 pieces will be unveiled at the Art India Fine Art Gallery in Tardeo tomorrow, September 23. These include the racquet with which tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi won the Australian Grand Slam and Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand’s World Chess Championship gold medal after he beat Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. There’s also the rifle Olympian Abhinav Bindra used to hit bull’s eye during the World Championship in Zagreb in July 2006, broke the world record and bagged 25 medals.
"We have lots of opportunity to celebrate Bollywood in our country. So I came up with the idea of an evening that enshrined the best in sports. I’ve been playing rugby for 10 years, and I’m a sportsperson too. I was delighted that the champions I approached contributed or didn’t make me run around," says Bose.
The first donor he met was Viswanathan Anand, since his wife Aruna was instrumental in putting the event together. When he offered to donate his gold medal, Bose was awed by the gesture. He says, "Kapil Dev's bat signed by the 1983 World Cup-winning squad and Ricky Ponting’s World Cup gold medal contributed by my friend Dhiraj Malhotra are going under the hammer, among others."
He plans to make the sports night an annual affair. The date could change. "October 29 was appropriate this year because it’s between the Commonwealth and Asian Games, and the Indo-Australia and Indo-New Zealand cricket series," he points out, promising to get archers, wrestlers, boxers, soccer players and Formula 1 drivers on board by 2011. "Equations is a great property to build on, more so because it’s for a cause."
Mahesh Bhupathi (Tennis)
Sania Mirza (Tennis)
Kapil Dev (Cricket)
Saina Nehwal (Badminton)
Leander Paes (Tennis)
Viswanathan Anand (Chess)
Pankaj Advani (Billiards)
Vijay Amritraj (Tennis)
Baichung Bhutia (Football)
Abhinav Bindra (Shooting)
Prakash Padukone (Badminton)
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (Cricket)
Viren Rasquinha (Hockey)
Geet Sethi (Billiards)
Virender Sehwag (Cricket)
Ajit Pal Singh (Hockey)
Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket)
Rahul Dravid (Cricket)
Sourav Ganguly (Cricket)
Sunil Gavaskar (Cricket)
Roger Federer (Tennis courtesy Globosport)
Diego Forlan (Football courtesy Mahua TV)
Ricky Ponting (Cricket courtesy Dhiraj Malhotra)
Maria Sharapova (Tennis courtesy Akshay Kulkarni)
Shane Warne (cricket courtesy Rahul Bose)