Whatever the outcome of the current IPL imbroglio, the game has found one ardent fan in Katrina Kaif who now intends to pursue the game not as a spectator but a player on the field.
Rani Mukherjee played a cricketer in Dil Bole Hadippa. But it’s Katrina Kaif who has learnt the ropes of the game, and not for a role. Being a brand ambassador for an IPL team is just not enough for Katrina. She believes she needs to understand the game that she’s endorsing and supporting. So Katrina has been taking frantic cricket lessons. Now she’s well on the way to getting a hang of the game quite efficiently.
Katrina not only learnt the rudiments of the game from Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. She also played cricket with them, wearing sarees if you please!
Says the actress, “What’s so tough about playing cricket in a saree? Why do people presume I’m not at home in sarees? I’ve been wearing them at fashion shows and other events from the time I was a model. And I am comfortable in a saree, even when playing cricket.”
It all started in Bhopal where when they were shooting for Raajneeti. The guys in the unit decided to play cricket between shots. Katrina insisted on joining them. Ranbir apparently shooed Katrina away arguing “Chal-chal yeh ladkiyon ke bas ki baat nahin.”
It was the more mature and kinder Arjun Rampal who insisted that Katrina play with them.
Says Katrina, “Ya, Arjun was very supportive. He not only stood up for me he also taught me elements of the game. Ranbir didn’t want me to be part of their cricket. So I got my own bat and ball and insisted that I be part of the team.”
Since a lot of the game was recorded on camera for the film’s promotional purposes the guys often pretended to welcome Katrina in the team.
“But the minute the camera was switched off they sent me off to… like a hundred miles away to do fielding. I had to put my down if I wanted to learn the game on the field,” she grumbles.
Katrina has returned from Bhopal much more clued into the game.
“Now whenever I’m at the IPL games next I know what’s going on. I don’t have to clap and cheer something I don’t understand,” Katrina rejoices at her newly-discovered love for the game.
About missing her grandfather’s 90th birthday she says, “More than me, my family was very disappointed. Everyone was there except me. My grandfather is the kind of tireless guy who told stories to his grandchildren as we grew up. I still like to hear him tell his stories to me. That I couldn’t be there for his 90th birthday would remain an abiding sorrow.”
- Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire