Suguna Sundaram writes about the eternal romance between cricket personalities and film stars
There are two things that the vast Indian populace indulges in unashamedly and lives vicariously through — Cinema and Cricket. The hits and the misses, the love and the kisses, all thrill us as nothing else does. And the icing on the cake is the age-old connection between the two. With both the professions, acting and being a cricketer, racking up glamour and adulation in spades, it is inevitable that there is a magnetic pull between the practitioners of the two professions. Long have we heard the hushed stories of affairs between cricketers and the glamorous heroines of the Bollywood industry.
Over time, the attraction still seems to draw, and scores high with the public too- not just the matches on the cricket pitch, but the ones that make it to the gossip pages and sometimes, all the way to the altar too. The most recent one being the highly public relationship and marriage of skipper Virat Kohli and Bollywood A-lister, actor Anushka Sharma.
Let’s take a walk down the old stadiums where Cupid, cricket and cinema played the pitch together.
SHARMILA TAGORE & MANSUR ALI KHAN PATAUDI
1965: Royalty by birth, and cricketing prince too, Nawab Mansur Ali Khan (Tiger) of Pataudi, then the youngest captain of the Indian cricket team, met the stunning fresh-faced Bollywood sex symbol, the talented Sharmila Tagore, the descendant of none other than India’s most noted literary figure, Rabindranath Tagore, at an after-match party in 1965. Pataudi’s western demeanor and suave debonair style, Tagore’s sheer beauty, and glamour, and their combined unconventional and liberal outlook in life led them together down the aisle (1969) after they dated a few years. It was not a match approved of by their families initially, and as viewed by naysayers, it was predicted to see doom very soon. But the stylish couple put paid to all their detractors, had a beautiful loving relationship, and a solid marriage that weathered three kids and four-plus decades, only ending with the passing of Tiger Pataudi in 2011. It did turn out to be a match made in Heaven!