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Bachchan Sr. excited to share stage with IPL captains
By IPL desk
Mumbai 29 March 2012
With IPL 2012 just a shout away, the biggest celebrities get set to take the stage on the Opening Nite on April 3. This year, the biggest star of them all, the legendary Amitabh Bachchan kicks off festivities. We asked the icon what he feels about the IPL phenomenon. Take a look.
We know you’re a cricket enthusiast, as is Abhishek, your son, whom we’ve often seen supporting India at cricket matches. What does IPL mean to you?
Cricket and India share an eternal bond; it’s a relationship that runs deep and evokes strong emotions. It is a matter of pride that the nation’s cricketing talent at the domestic and international level is channelled by the IPL. Like the international football leagues have formed fierce loyalties over the years, our own cricket league is a tournament that befits the love Indians feel for the game. IPL celebrates cricket while imbuing it with a uniquely Indian flavour.
Who do you think are favourites to win IPL 2012?
T20 is an unpredictable game. There are no minnows or favourites – each game scripts its own story, without the baggage of history or expectation. It’s the spontaneity that makes IPL a compelling tournament. I am just going to enjoy the ride over the next two months.
You are an icon for millions across the world. Who does Amitabh, the icon, fancy watching?
I am no icon, but yes those that play the game of cricket certainly are. They are all masters and represent their nation. I admire and like to watch all the games, for there are many distinguished and talented players in each team – from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England. But I must admit, it’s difficult at times to think beyond Sachin when he is in a competition. Even after all these years, he still attempts to reinvent himself. Of late, Virat has been most inspiring. They’re all great talents to watch and most entertaining.
The nine IPL captains who will take the MCC Spirit of Cricket pledge are huge fans of yours. Among these are Indian icons Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly. You tweeted that it’d be an honour to stand beside them at the IPL Opening Nite. Your thoughts?
It is indeed an honour. These are cricketers who’ve brought, and continue to bring, glory to the nation. The hopes, dreams, even moods, of a billion people rest on their able shoulders. It is a humbling experience for me to share the stage with this galaxy of talent, with a list of glorious achievements behind and ahead of them. From hundred hundreds to a World Cup-win, these heroes have earned it all. To stand amongst them brings me great joy and pride.
Every year at IPL, the captains pledge to play the game as much in its spirit as in keeping with the written laws. PLAY HARD, PLAY FAIR. We have seen that in action over the last few months, whether it is in Ian Bell being recalled after his was declared run out or Ashwin running out Thirimanne, and the batsman being let off in keeping with the game’s spirit.
This year I hope to reach out to the millions of cricket fans in the country in their language. I hope that the fans will appreciate the deeper meaning of this pledge post this event.
Currently, he’s the most dazzling star in the glittering galaxy of Indian batsmen. His on-field aggression matches his flamboyance off the field. He’s passionate about the game and plays it with unrivalled intensity. Away from the cricket field, he’s just another 23-year-old who loves fast cars, trendy clothes and latest gadgets. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli is the latest cricketing youth icon of India.
During his fun-filled chat with www.iplt20, he was as free-flowing as some of his exquisite cover drives. Here are the 20 things about the new poster boy of Indian cricket you might not have known.
1. My favourite cuisine is Chinese. I love dim sum in particular.
2. My favourite beverage is orange juice
3. My favourite movie has to be Rocky. I think it’s the best motivational movie ever, not only for sportspeople but people from any field.
4. My favourite non-cricketing sportsperson is Roger Federer. The kind of consistency he’s maintained over a long period of time, winning so many grand slams back-to-back, is really amazing.
5. I love R&B and Punjabi music. My current favourite R&B artist is Bruno Mars; I really like his singing. In Punjabi, it has to be Rishi Rich and RDB.
6. My favourite gadget is my Playstation 3. I just love it.
7. My current dream vehicle is the Audi R8.
8. My mantra in life is live life everyday and don’t think too far ahead in the future. Just live every moment.
9. One thing I cannot do without is my Blackberry.
10. My idol is Sachin Tendulkar. More than his on-field exploits, I love the way he carries himself over the field. I know many people have said that over the years. But to get to know him personally and see the child in him still wanting to learn everyday with so much of genuineness; there’s nothing fake about his enthusiasm. That’s something that amazes me a lot.
11. Being stylish is all about wearing what you feel like on any occasion. Don’t go with the trends too much and just wear what you are confident you carry off.
12. I have a lot of good friends in cricket but I’m the closest to Yuvraj Singh. I met him first when I was playing a Deodhar Trophy game for North Zone, which he had come to watch. He had seen me play in the Under-19 World Cup [in 2007]. I was really shy to go up to him and talk. He was sweet enough to walk up to me for a chat. We spoke about the game and life in general. We bonded instantly and since then have remained great friends. He’s like an elder brother to me. I seek his advice whenever I’m confused about something because he’s seen a lot in cricket. He’s always given me the best advice possible and it’s been a wonderful friendship with him.
13. The toughest bowler I’ve faced till date is Saeed Ajmal because he’s very skilled and has a lot of control over his bowling, which is really difficult to deal with. He’s the toughest right now.
14. The easiest bowler I’ve faced is MS Dhoni in the nets.
15. My most memorable cricketing moment is the 2011 World Cup win and then the century against Pakistan [183 in a 2012 Asia Cup match]
16. My most embarrassing moment on the cricket field was when my pants came off in Bangladesh once. There’s also a video on the net. I don’t think anything can get more embarrassing than that.
17. If I weren’t a cricketer, I’d probably be involved in my family business with my brother or [would] have worked at the ONGC. Honestly, I don’t see myself doing anything apart from cricket for a long, long time.
18. I love to play the flick shot. It comes naturally to me; the body movements are natural. Whenever I need to play a release shot, it has to be the flick.
19. If I were granted one super power, I’d ask for the ability to fly because there’s a lot of traffic problem in India and I hate being stuck in the traffic. So, I’d love to fly and reach everywhere quickly.
20. If I were invisible for a day, I’d roam around in the busiest mall in the city openly. That’s something we cricketers cannot do in India.