The talented Kajol; Her top movies;Rare Trivia

Image result for kajol imagesKajol’s range of talent can be known from the fact that she is the 1st female actor to win the Filmfare best performance award in a negative role. In fact it was also the 1st time a female actor was nominated for best villain. This was in Gupt, a movie starring Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol, in which Kajol won the award for her role of Isha, a psychopath serial killer and obsessive lover. Later, Priyanka Chopra too won awarf for negative role in Aitraaz.

Kajol, a Padma Shri awardee is a 4th generation actress from the family of Rattan Bai, Sobhana Samarth and Tannuja. After getting married to Ajay Devgn, she cut down on career but still had some remarkable performances before- and after wedding.

Let us reminiscence some trivia on a few of her memorable movies.

Abbas-Mustan’s crime thriller Baazigar was Kajol’s 1st hit though her debut was Bekhudi. Sridevi was originally supposed to play a double role but Abbas-Mustan thought that audience may not accept a newcomer (SRK) killing an established heroine. Kajol and Shilpa Shetty got their break- and never looked back. Nadeem-Shrawan were the original music directors but they left on an ego issue as they wanted Kajol to be out which the Producers did not agree to. Annu Malik replaced them. The song Baazigar-0-Baazigar which turned out to be a craze was originally composed by Nadeem Shrawan as Jaadugar-O-Jaadugar and slightly modified by Annu Malik. Interestingly, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan were offered SRK’s role but thought it to be too negative.

In Bekhudi, she acted opposite Kamal sadanah, though Saif Ali Khan was supposed to act opposite her. Bekhudi played an important role in Saif’s life as he met his 1st wife Amrita Singh during its shooting.

Image result for dilwale dulhania le jayenge kajol images

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge gave us the romance of Raj ( SRK) and Simran, played by Kajol. Initially SRK was hesitant about DDLJ as he thought it was a girlish role but later said “This will be my Deevaar, it will make me”. DDLJ earned Kajol her 1st Best actress award. The title of the movie was given by Kirron Kher and the name Raj was given by Aditya Chopra after Raj Kapoor. Karan Johar was seen on screen for the 1st time in this movie.

Image result for kuch kuch hota hai kajol images

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai saw Kajol in her memorable role as Anjali. She shone both as the tomboy and the beautiful lady. This is the only movie which won all the 4 acting awards with Best actor for SRK, best actress for Kajol, Best supporting actor for Salman and Best supporting actress for Rani. Top fashion designer Manish Malhotra had a cameo as a student in this movie. Karan Johar later said that he had visualised SRK as Archie, Rani as Veronica and Kajol as Betty and Anupam Kher as Principal Weatherbee from the famous Archie series.

Sadly, Kajol and Karan have fallen out. While in his book, An unsuitable boy, he says he would not like to talk about it, there are talks that it could be due to Kamaal R Khan’s audio where he accused Karan of having paid Rs 25 Lakhs to him to sabotage Ajay Devgn’s movie Shivaay and to give positive tweets about Karan’s Ae dil hai mushkil. Later Kamaal R Khan changed his stance completely, but the damage was done.

Fanaa means destroyed in Love. This Aamir-Kajol starrer was loosely inspired from Ken Follett’s Eye of the needle. Aamir plays a Kashmiri insurgent but interestingly the movie was not shot in Kashmir but in Poland as Kajol was concerned about safety.

Image result for kabhi khushi kabhie gham kajol images

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G) has one of the best ever star casts of all time. After all who would imagine Amitabh, SRK, Hrithik, jaya Bhaduri, Kajol and Kareena in the same movie. Kajol and SRK’S song “Suraj hua maddham” is one of their most romantic songs ever. Kajol’s role was highly appreciated. Karan says when he met her he told her that while it would break his heart if she refused to do the film , it would not affect their friendship. She hugged him, with tears rolling down her eyes and said she would say yes/no after consulting her husband, Ajay Devgn. 5 days later, to Karan’s relief, the answer was yes.

My Name is Khan saw Kajol and SRK coming back together after K3G. This was the 1st Indian movie to gross 100 crores overseas. James Cameron praised it as his favorite Bollywood movie. Christopher B Duncan, the actor who played Barrack Obama was chosen by Karan Johar as he had portrayed Obama in Jay Leno’s show.

Kajol has so many good movies that choosing a few was really difficult. I am sure you agree.











The Rise of Stefano Tsitsipas; Will he be a Grand Slam winner soon ?

Image result for tsitsipas picSon of a Greek dad and Russian mom, Stefano Tsitsipas started to play tennis when he was three. His Dad was a trained tennis coach dad and Mom a former Junior world number 1. Tsitsipas too became a Junior world number 1 like his mom.

Would he climb the next step on the ladder, the more difficult one, the transition from junior to senior tennis ?? That was the big question.

Odds seem to be stacked against Stefano. Greece is not known to be a tennis playing country. No male player from Greece had reached the top 20 of the world and among lady players only Elini Danilidou had reached a high of world Number 14. She did win 5 WTA titles and at Grand Slams had 4th round appearances at 3 of the 4 Majors. Her crowing glory was a 1st round win over Justine Henin in the 2005 Wimbledon where for the 1st time, current French Open champion lost in the 1st round of Wimbledon.

Tsitsipas did win a Junior Grand Slam doubles title at Wimbledon to be the 1st Greek player in the open era to win a Grand Slam title. In the pre-Open era Nicky Kalo had won the Junior French Open and Junior Wimbledon in 1962. However he could not crack the world top 100, with a highest ranking of 108. In Grand Slams his best performances were reaching the 4th round of Wimbledon once and French Open Third Round thrice.

History therefore was not in Tsitsipas favour and he had to carve out his own route to the top. Lets see how he went about it.

After playing the Challenger series from 2013 to 2017, his 1st main ATP tournament was at the 2017 Rotterdam tournament where he lost in the 1st round to eventual champion Tsonga. He was already being spoken about as a talented teen star.  His 1st win in an ATP match was over the equally talented Karen Khachanov in the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters. Tsitsipas was unlucky however to run into the big serving John Isner in the next round, to whom he lost 6-7, 6-7. However the fact that both sets were tiebreaks was not lost upon the tennis community. Tsitsipas then reached the semi finals of the European open an ATP 250 tournament where he defeated Goffin, who was his 1st top ten win. who knew, many more would come within months.

2018 saw his 1st breakthrough at the Barcelona Open. In an incredible tournament for the teen, he had straight set one sided wins over more fancied players. The margin of wins was impressive as well. Corentin Moupet had defeated him in a Challenger final in 2017 and Tsitsipas disposed of him 6-4 6-1 in the 1st round. He then won against accomplished players like Diego Schwartzmann 6-2 6-1, A Ramos Vinolas 6-4 7-5, Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-2 and Pablo carrena Busta 7-5 6-3. In the final he lost to none other than Rafa Nadal 6-2 6-1.

Showing steady promise, Tsitsipas then reached the 4th round of Wimbledon where Isner stopped him. He also reached the semifinals of the Washington Open. However the next spectacular achievement was at the 2018 Toronto Masters. A year ago he had been ranked 168. He ended Toronto Open at Number 15 after attempting to become the first player since Albert Portas at Hamburg in 2001 to win his first ATP World Tour title at a Masters 1000 event. Once again it was Nadal who stopped him, but Tsitsipas improved upon his Barcelona Open performance by losing in straight sets but at 6-4 7-6, and he even had a set point against his great opponent.

At Indian Wells in 2005, it was  a teen Rafa against the world number 1. Now at Toronto it was Tsitsipas on his 20th Birthday against Rafa. Importantly he had 4 top ten wins to reach the final, that too against players of the calibre of Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Sascha Zverev and Kevin Anderson. No teen had done this before and Tsitsipas by doing so announced himself as a future Grand Slam contendor.

Unfortunately at Cincinnati this week, Tsitsipas lost in the 1st round to Goffin whom he had defeated in the quarter finals at Citi. He will rue missing 3 set points at 0-40 , 4-5 on Goffin serve. This saw Goffin holding serve and then breaking to take the 1st set 7-5 and then running away with the second 6-3.

What next for Tsitsipas. The US Open will be only the second Grand Slam tournament where he will be seeded. Tsitsipas who says he has modelled his game on the great Roger Federer and consciously chose a one handed backhand like his idol has two weaknesses. One is the backhand itself and the second is a weak second serve and these two aspects need to be quickly addressed.

Tsitsipas has been described as a young player with the flair of Federer and the icy coolness of Borg. He is already the youngest player in the top 20. He promises to be that rare category of a tennis player- an all court star.

Will he win a Grand Glam soon ? Will he be a multi Grand Slam winner ?

Looking forward to a great career for young Stefano.


Sacred Games; A super hit show; Do you know all about Season 1

Image result for sacred games picsWhen Vikram Chandra wrote the book Sacred Games in 2006, little did he know that more than a decade later, the digital medium will offer new perspectives to the entertainment world.Vikram’s book, rewritten by Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath has been made into a web television series and is the 1st  Netflix original from India.

Season 1 has already been released and has taken the country by storm, apart from being appreciated overseas as well. Smart marketing has led to huge spurt in subscriptions as 1 month free offer was given. Certainly, there will be some who will avail the free one month offer and then exit but there will be many who will continue, and probably Netflix is confident of retention.

The book itself is more than 900 pages and probably justice would not have been done to it in a single movie of 3 hours . The digital medium offers that flexibility. Season 1 has 8 episodes of 45 minutes each, and there shall be 4 seasons of 8 episodes each. In an interesting division of duty, the writers have divided the episodes among themselves. For season 1, Varun has written Episodes 1 and 8, Smita Episodes 2,3 and 6 while Vasant has penned Episodes 4, 5 and 7.

Similarly, instead of one there are two directors who happen to be close friends and associates. Vikramaditya Motwane was earlier assistant to Sanjay Leela Bhansali before starting independent work. His 1st movie, Udaan was for Anurag Kasyap’s production house. Sacred Games is directed by both Motwane and Anurag.

Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin play the main roles of a Mumbai Cop, Sartaj Singh and a mafia Don, Ganesh Gaitonde. However they are seen together only in the ending of the 1st episode.  Thereafter the story of Nawaz is told in flashback mode while the story of Saif is of current times. Saif’s scenes are directed by Motwane while Nawaz’s are by Anurag Kashyap.  The 3rd main character of Season 1  is Radhika Apte who plays the role of Anjali Mathur, a RAW officer.

The 8 Episodes of Season 1 are based on Hindu mythology and skilfully weaves the myth to the storyline by drawing parallels. Episode one is titled Aswatthama, who was invincible, and Gaitonde says that he too will remain forever, if not in body then in mind. Episode 2 is Halahala, the toxic poison while episode 3 is named Atapi Vatapi , the 2 demon brothers who kill travelers. Kuckoo is introduced in episode 3, a sought after bar dancer who is taken by Gaitonde from the reighning mafia don, in a symbolic shift of muscle power. Episode 4  is Brahmahatya and it says that there is a God in every human and killing a human is like killing God. The connect with episode 2 is more clear, since Halahala is communal hatred, where innocents die.

Episodes 5 and 6 are named after the mythological character Sarala and the Hindu puranic text Pretakalpa, both themes adroitly woven into the current story. Episode 7 is on the mighty deity Rudra and episode 8 is named after Yayati, the cursed King.

To sum up the entire theme, Gaitonde tells Sartaj that he loves Mumbai and in just 25 days Mumbai will cease to exist, with only Trivedi remaining alive. The story develops at a frenetic pace as Sartaj tries to solve the mystery as to who has planned to destroy the metro.

What next for Sacred Games. Season 2 is expected to be premiered after a few months, with its shooting to commence from September. In Season 2, Pankaj Tripathi who plays a Godman named Guruji is expected to be the main negative character while the story of Gaitonde will continue. Apparently Motwane may not direct Season 2 as he was too involved and too serious and stressed while filming the 1st season. In season 2 we will possibly know about the 17 years Gaitonde was missing from Mumbai. We are also likely to know who Trivedi is, a person described as IFS type in season 1.

What next for Netflix. They seem to be committed to exploring the huge Indian market and Indian community abroad. On August 24, their action horror miniseries Ghoul starring Radhika Apte and Manav Kaul is to be released.

Digital is indeed here to stay.

Lord Of Lords Dilip Vengsarkar; and other Indian Test Centurians at Lords.

Image result for Dilip Vengsarkar images

The 2nd Test Match of the 2018 series at Lords has ended with England going up 2 Nil in the 5 Test series. A long tour is looking even longer already. At Lords, India were all out for 107 and 130 and faced a combined match total of only 82 overs to lose by an innings and 159 runs.

Have Indian batsmen played well at Lords in the past. Lets take a look.

It is the dream of every Test player to play a Test match at Lords, the Mecca of cricket. It is also the dream of every Test player to score a Test hundred. When both the dreams combine and a Test player hits a Test ton at Lords, it becomes something extra special.

Three of India’s greatest batsmen in history, namely Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag do not have test centuries here. Coincidentally 2 other greats, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting too do not have centuries at Lords. Yet 9 Indian batsmen have scored 100’s here with Dilip Vengsarkar having as many as three. Lets have a look at how these hundreds were scored and in what circumstances.

Dilip Vengsarkar

Dilip Vengsarkar is the only non Englishman to have 3 centuries at Lords. His 3 centuries had contrasting results. The 1st earned India a draw, the 2nd could not prevent a loss while the 3rd got India a win.

Dilip’s 1st ton at Lords came during the 1979 series. The Indian team was in a difficult situation as they were shot out for 96 in the 1st knock and the English attack with Lever, Botham and Hendrick was quite menacing. However the genius of the 2 V’s took India to safety. India batted 150 overs to score 318/4 with Vengsarkar scoring 103 in 295 balls and Gundappa Vishwanath scoring 113 in 337 balls. India were 323 behind. Dilip came in at 79/1 and was 3rd out at 309/3. He was awarded the man of the match award.

Vengsarkar’s 2nd ton which was during the 1982 series was a spectacular century in a losing cause. England had piled up 433 and India were shot out for 128, with only Sunny Gavaskar (48) and Kapil (41) reaching double figures. Following on, India could avoid the innings defeat due to Vengsarkar’s 157 in 264 balls with 21 boundaries, mostly through crisp drives and savage pulls.  Kapil Dev too had a brutal 89 in just 55 balls with 13 4’s and 3 6’s. England however needed only 67 to win the Test and had a comfortable 7 wicket win.

The Colonel’s 3rd Ton at Lords resulted in a win for India. This was India’s 1st at the Mecca of cricket and gave us a 1 Nil lead in the 1986 series. Chetan Sharma’s 5/64 helped restrict England to 294. In response, India, at one stage were 264/8. However with debutant Kiran More chipping in with 25, Dilip and More took India to 303/9.  When Maninder walked in, Dilip was on 95. Maninder survived, for Vengsarkar not just to get a ton , but a matchwinning 126 not out which gave India an invaluable 47 run lead. Kapil and Maninder combined to get England 180 all out and India scored the 134 required to win by 5 wickets. India won the next test too to take the series 2-0. Coincidentally Dilip once again scored a century after being 99 not out when Maninder came in to bat. This was among India’s finest test series abroad and the Lord of Lord’s was the man of the series.

Gundappa Vishwanath

As mentioned above, his ton came in the company of the younger Dilip Vengsarkar and both took India to safety in the Lords Test of the 1979 series.

One has to say, Vishy is one of the best bad-wicket batsman in Test history. His 97 not out at Chennai against Roberts at his fiery best is one of only 2 innings in the Wisden top 100 which are not centuries. His century at Lords earned India a draw.  India did not lose a single Test in the 13 where Vishy got hundreds.

Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri 

Kapil Dev calls two Indian batsmen magicians and not cricketers. They are Gundappa Vishwanath and Mohd Azharuddin. In the 1st Test of the 1990 series, India put England in to bat and Graham Gooch scored 333 to take England to 653. This remains the highest ever scpre at Lords and Gooch along with Vaughan has the maximum number of centuries in lords , as many as six each. In response, Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri scored centuries but still India were in danger of following on when Kapil Dev hit Hemmings for 4 sixes in a row. India avoided the follow-on but forgot the match had to be saved. Gooch hit a quick hundred and then India were 224 all out for England to win the Test. Interestingly Vengsarkar had a chance to score a 4th hundred at Lords. He scored 52 and 35 in this Test.

Kapil once again missed a chance for a Lords ton. He was 77 not out. His 4 sixes in 4 balls is widely remembered though, even though India lost the Test.

Sourav Ganguly 

Dada’s ton, which came in the 1996 series, is special in the list of Indian centurians at Lords. It was his debut test and a spectacular hundred. On an iffy wicket, England had scored a fighting 344 and it was imperative that India does not give them a big lead. They did not due to the efforts of two debutants, Dada and Dravid. While Dada got a brilliant 131 at Number 3, batting down the order at 7, Dravid too shone for his 95. The duo ensured India reached 429, which ruled out all chances of an Indian defeat. The match was drawn. Jack Russell’s 124 which rescued England from a precarious 107/5 got him the man of the match award.

Rahul Dravid

The Wall, one of the finest batsmen ever to play Test cricket did miss a debut 100 at lords but still ensured that he had a test century at this ground.. This was in the 1st Test of the 2011 series where he scored 103 not out in India’s 1st innings. Kevin Pietersen scored a majestic double century in this Test which was the 100th between England and India.  England won comfortably by 196 runs. Dravid scored three centuries in this series which India lost 4-Nil.

Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya scored one of the best tons by any Indian batsman overseas. This was in the 2nd Test of the 2011 series. Batting 1st on a green wicket India were 145/7 but recovered to 295. A century by Garry Ballance took England to 319 making it a 1 innings Test. Murali Vijay narrowly missed a ton. He scored 95 with Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar scoring 50’s too to set England  a 318 run target. Ishant’s 7/74 gave India a famous win and a 1-0 lead in the series. Sadly, India lost the next 3 Tests for England to comfortably win the series 3-1.

Ajit Agarkar

The 2002 series probably saw the best ever batting by an Indian team in England. Every test saw an Indian Centurian. While it was Ajit Agarkar at Lords, it was Sehwag and Dravid at Trent Bridge. At Headingley where India won by an innings , sachin scored 193 while in the 4th Test which was drawn, Dravid was man of the match for his 217.

Ajit’s was certainly the most unlikeliest of India tons at Lords. Batting 1st, England piled up 487, with Nasser Hussain topscoring with 155. India were 221 all out with only Sehwag crossing 50, with a customary blistering knock of 84. However 100’s by Vaughan and Crawley took England to a quick 301/6 in 64 overs setting India an impossible task of 588. Jaffer, Dravid and VVS scored 50’s but India were well and truly out of it at 6/170 when Ajit Agarkar walked in. The Mumbai allrounder, batting at number 8 scored a wonderful unbeaten 109. He had partnerships of 24 with Kumble, 14 with Zaheer and a last wicket stand of 63 with Ashish Nehra to not only take India to 397. While India lost the match, the Indians discovered their fighting spirit and won the 3rd test by an innings to draw the series 1-1.

Mulwantrai Himmatlal Mankad (Vinoo Mankad)

The 1952 Test match at Lords is known as Mankads Test even though India lost the match. Batting 1st, India started well with a 106 run partnership between Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy but after Vinoo was out for 72, wickets fell at regular intervals. Only Vijay Hazare scored 69 not out and India were all out for 235. In response England piled up 537 with Len Hutton scoring a majestic 150. Vinoo took 5 wickets. India was expected to lose by an innings but Vinoo Mankad, coming in to bat ten minutes after bowling 73 overs scored  a fantastic 184 which took India to 378. England won easily by 8 wickets but Vinoo Mankad had shown fight which will be talked about forever.  It was only the 5th time that a cricketer had taken 5 wickets in an innings and scored a hundred in a test match. He and Ian Botham are the only ones to do it at Lords.

These then are the Nine Indian batsmen who have scored Test Tons at Lords.

To complete this article, I had stated that Sunil Gavaskar did not have a Test ton at Lords. However for the Rest of the World XI versus the MCC in 1987 he did score a century, which was not without drama. Sunny announced on the evening of the 2nd day that he was retiring from 1st class cricket and this would be his last match. He was 80 not out then, only 20 short of a coveted 100 at Lords. However there were no hiccups, the next day he did complete his ton and went on to score a huge 188. Almost as an anticlimax however it was not to be his last first class knock, and in the second innings he was out off the bowling of Marshall for a duck. Later he signed off from International cricket too, with his only ODI hundred, in the 1987 World Cup .

Can these memories revive and inspire the Indian team, currently struggling in England. Hope so.

Manoj “Bharat” Kumar.”Mere desh ki dharti”. From Abbottabad to Mumbai.

Image result for manoj kumar images

Abbottabad in the Khyber Pahktunkhwa area of Pakistan was in the news recently when Osama bin Laden was shot by the US forces. Abbottabad has a link with the Hindi Film industry as well. Top actor and director Manoj Kumar who was synonymous with “patriotic films” was born there. With Independence day around the corner, let us go on a trivia journey of this actor’s career.

Born as  Harikishan Giri Goswami, his family migrated to Delhi at partition time when he was just 10  and he went on to study at Hindu College after which he decided to enter films. He says he needed three lakhs to support his family and hence he entered films to fulfil his needs and not his wants. In 1949 there was a Dilip Kumar movie named Shabnam in which Dilip Kumar’s character is named as Manoj Kumar. This inspired Harikishan to take up this name for his film career. His idol was Dilip Kumar who he got a chance to direct later for his patriotic multistarrer film Kranti.

Before the switch to patriotic films, Manoj Kumar did act in various romantic, drama and thriller films. To illustrate one hit movie from each genre, Patthar ke Sanam, Aadmi and Gumnaam.

Patthar ke sanam had one of the best songs each of Rafi’s and Mukesh career, namely Patthar ke sanam, tujhe humne by Rafi and Tauba ye matwali chaal by Mukesh. Aadmi starred him and his idol Dilip Kumar in which Dilip Kumar played the role of a young man in a wheelchair who wants to murder his best friend for having an affair with his fiancee. Gumnaam was based on Agatha Christie’s “And then there were none“, one of the worlds highest selling books ever, about 10 persons in an island, one of which is a murderer, and one by one, the persons start getting murdered. The book by Agatha christie was originally titled Ten Little Niggers, then the title changed to Ten little Indians and finally to And then there ere None, as other two titles were politically incorrect.

Manoj Kumar is however most famous for his patriotic films, so much so they earned him the name Bharat Kumar. Shaheed was based on the life of Bhagat Singh. Upkaar, in which the all time famous song Mere desh ki dharti was there, was made by him on the request of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to honour the slogan Jai jawan jai kisaan. Purab aur Paschhim and Kranti are two more of his super successful patriotic movies. With his fondness for patriotic films, no wonder his favorite character is Prithviraj Kapoor in Mughal-e-azam.

Manoj Kumar’s keenness for detail and ability to gauge pulse of the audience can be known from his advice to his protege Chandra Barot, who made the iconic Don. It was Manoj Kumar who gave the advice to include a song. Khaike banaraswala, originally planned for Dev Anand’s Banarasi Babu was included. It became a hit and contributed hugely to the movie becoming a hit.

Manoj Kumar’s journey is incredible. When he acted in Dr Vidya with Vyjantimala , she was charging Rs 3,00000/- while he was paid Rs 7000/-. They became good friends and used to play tennis together. When he acted in Haryali aur raasta with Mala Sinha, she too was paid in Lakhs while he was paid Rs 11000/-. He got support from his co-stars and he repaid the confidence they showed in him. For instance Asha Parekh, who was a huge star at 17 with Dil deke Dekho worked opposite him in Apna Banakar Dekho, and he paid the friendship debt by giving her Upkar. For Shor, Jaya Bhaduri was already signed but Nanda agreed to act too- on the condition she would not charge a single rupee. The result was magical, the song Ek pyar ka nagma hai, picturised on Manoj Kumar and Nanda is one of the most iconic of duets ever.

Apparently the Manoj Kumar-Sadhna classic Wo Kaun Thi, in which we had the memorable song Lag ja gale is set to be remade with Shahid Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai playing their roles. The movie was of 1964 and it is a tribute to Manoj Kumar that more than 50 years later his movies are not only being seen, but remakes with top stars are being thought of.

Fondly remembering the amazingly talented Sanjeev Kumar.

Image result for Sanjeev Kumar  picsGujarat has given the Hindi film industry many female actors such as Asha Parekh, Dimple Kapadia, Pooja Bhatt, Aruna Irani and Supriya Pathak. Gujarat has also given us a few male actors and among them one name stands out, Sanjeev Kumar.

While his real name was Harihar Jethalal Zariwala or Haribhai he is better known as Sanjeev Kumar. He is one of the best ever actors in the history of the Hindi film industry and probably the Industry’s most famous male hero from Gujarat. His popularity can be known from the fact that he has a road, a school and an auditorium named after him.

Let us reminiscence a trivia journey on the career of this highly versatile actor who after having a massive heart attack left this world early when he was just 47.

Haribhai’s debut movie was Hum Hindustani, in 1960 and he was just 22. This Sunil Dutt starrer had the famous song “Chodon kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani” in it.  Haribhai had a small role, and he also had a minor role in Sunghursh, starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjantimala. Currently, the much anticipated movie of the year is “Thugs of Hindostan” which is on the Thuggee cult. Sunghursh, incidentally the movie where Rakesh Roshan started his career was also on the thuggee cult as well.

It was Khilona in 1970 which firmly established Sanjeev Kumar on the road to superstardom. This movie starred Shatrughan Sinha and Jeetendra as well. There was only one female lead, Mumtaz who won best actress award. However Sanjeev Kumar too was nominated for best actor award and his role was highly aclaimed. The song “Khilona jaan kar tum to” is one of Rafi saab’s best ever sad songs, and showcases Harbhai’s acting skills.

Sanjeev Kumar had such a stellar career it is not possible to do justice in just one article. Hence i will focus on just three aspects, his movies with Amitabh Bachchan,  his unforgettable comedy movies and a rare Shotgun Sinha-Sanjeev Kumar trivia

Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh BachchanImage result for Sanjeev Kumar Amitabh bachchan pics

Haribhai made a super pair with Amitabh Bachchan. They 1st had special appearances  each in Mehmood’s Kunwara Baap.  After Faraar came the blockbuster Sholay. Other prominent movies starring both of them were Trishul, Kaala patthar, Silsila and Khuddaar. Sanjeev Kumar enjoyed acting with Amitabh, even though he was given the older roles. Only once he was reluctant to act in an Amitabh starrer, and that was for Silsila, but he relented after Yash Chopra went all the way to Bangalore to convince him to take up the role.

Sanjeev Kumar’s comedy movies

Image result for Sanjeev Kumar Angoor pics

Haribhai had an amazing comic touch which was seen in movies like Seeta aur Geeta, Pati patni aur woh and Biwi O Biwi. Somehow good music and songs too are associated with Sanjeev Kumar. Seeta aur Geeta had “Koi ladki mujhe kal raat” and “Hawa ke saath saath“. Pati patni aur woh had the all time famous song “Thande thande paani se” while Biwi O biwi too had excellent music by Pancham.

However, Haribhai’s undisputedly best comic movie was Angoor, directed by Gulzar where both he and Deven Verma played twins. This movie is based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and it is in my opinion the best ever mistaken identity movie ever made in Hindi film industry.

Sanjeev Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha

Image result for Sanjeev Kumar shatrughan sinha pics

Haribhai and Shatrughan (Shotgun) Sinha have been associated in as many as 12 movies together and each movie is unique and different. For instance while Bad aur Badnaam is an action thriller,  Haathkadi is a suspense thriller and Jaani Dushman is a horror movie.  Another interesting movie which had both of them was Chehre pe Chehra based on The strange case of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevensen where Sanjeev Kumar plays the role of Jekyl and Hyde. Their last movie together was mystery thriller Qatl which was released 2 months after the untimely death of Sanjeev kumar.

Shotgun Sinha in his book has said that once he needed Rs 10 Lakhs for an unknown expenditure and could not arrange the funds. He was ready to even sell his house but his wife Poonam was not agreeing. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai kept on saying he would give him but was simply delaying on some pretext or the other. Shotgun met Sanjeev kumar for dinner and casually mentioned to him. Haribhai asked him when could he return it and Shotgun said he had no idea. To his surprise the next day, Sanjeev Kumar’s secretary came to him and gave him the money. Shotgun asked him what interest rate would be charged and Haribhai said “between friends, no interest”.

Versatile, terrific performer Sanjeev Kumar ji. He is immortal.

Part 2 coming up soon……

Rogers Cup 2018 Starts today; A preview

Image result for Novak Rafa pics

What a 2018 it has been for the golden trio, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. The 1st 3 Grand Slams of the year have been shared by them.

The next important tennis tournament on the calendar is the Rogers Cup at Toronto, also called the Canadian Open tennis. It is an ATP 1000 Masters. While Federer has opted out, Rafa and Novak will be looking forward to starting the hard court season on a winning note.

19 of the World’s top 20 players have confirmed their participation in the Rogers Cup. Lets take a look at the currently hottest players on the circuit and what they have done here in this tournament last year and in previous years.

World Number 1 Rafa Nadal had a shock 3rd round defeat here last year to the local player Denis Shapovalov. In 2018 Rafa has had a terrific clay court season where among other successes he clinched his 11th French Open title. He also had a good run at Wimbledon and after defeating the giant DelPo in the quarter-finals was stopped by Novak in a tense five setter. Rafa would be seeking to win here and extend his huge lead over Federer in the ATP rankings. Rafa has won here in 2005, 2008 and 2013. All his entries to the final have resulted in wins.

This year Rafa has a tough draw. Benoit Paire or a qualifier is his 1st round opponent but he has a potentially tough 3rd round match against Wawrinka or Kyrgios. Likely quarter final opponent is Cilic while DelPo or Isner could face the world number 1 in the semi-finals. If he wins all of these matches, a dream final with Novak awaits.

However Rafa being Rafa, with his trademark consistency and honesty he says that he is not looking too far ahead and is focussing as of now on the 1st round match. To quote the Champion,

I always take it match by match, that’s what I’ve done all my life. That’s the only way, in my opinion, to have success. You need to respect all the days, all the opponents. In tennis, things change so quickly, so you need to be ready to accept both victories and losses.”

Novak Djokovic had a minefield of a draw at Wimbledon but came through to win his 4th Wimbledon crown. His 5 set win over the world Number 1 Nadal in the semifinal will encourage him. Last year he had withdrawn from Rogers Cup and so every point he gets will be a bonus. He has already come back into the top 10 and would be seeking to have a few wins before the US Open for a proper draw. Among the big guns, Djokovic has tasted maximum success here with 4 wins and has lost one final to Andy Murray who has taken a wildcard entry for the Rogers Cup.

Djokovic meets the impressive Hyeon Chung in the 1st round, and has a tough third round match with Thiem and a tougher quarter final with Alexander Zverev ( Sascha). Anderson or Dimitrov are likely semi-final opponents.

World Number 3 Sascha did well in the French Open where he showed mettle in winning 3 back to back five setters before losing to Thiem in the Quarter finals. However he disappointed at Wimbledon by losing a 5th set at 6-0 to Ernest Gulbis, the player named by his parents after the great writer Ernest Hemingway. Sascha is defending champion and had won against Federer.

Sascha opens with Ferrer and faces a tough quarter final with Djokovic or Thiem. Defending 1000 points would be very important for him. Can he do it ? Last year his wins against Kyrgios, Anderson and Federer himself were very encouraging which he would like to repeat. If he doesnt then DelPo will be the new World Number 3.

Kevin Anderson had a wild card last year and went up to the quarter finals where he lost to Zverev. However this tournament sparked his revival and he reached the finals of both US Open ( 2017 ) and Wimbledon ( 2018). Losses there were to none other than rafa and Djokovic. Kevin has entered the top 5 for the 1st time. He would be seeking to leave an impact.

Del Potro would be a huge contender. The giant was unlucky to meet Nadal at the Wimbledon quarter finals and lose in 5 thrilling sets. He too has risen to Number 4 in the world and would be seeking to improve his points since he lost in 2nd round to Shapovalov last year. A good performance by him and Zverev not able to repeat his winning performance may see him in the top 3 for the 1st time. DelPo will meet Nishikori in the 2nd round and has a chance for revenge as he is expected to meet Shapovalov in the 3rd. Isner awaits in the quarter finals with the winner to take on Rafa in the semi-finals.

Other players who will be seeking to leave an impression at the Rogers Cup are the giant American Isner and the hard serving local Raonic. Isner was unlucky to meet ( and lose) DelPotro in the first round in 2017 while Raonic lost to Mannarino last year. Raonic meets Dimitrov in the 3rd round and the winner is likely to meet Kevin Anderson in the qaurter final.

A brief note on the missing Champion, Roger Federer who had won here in 2004 and 2006. He also lost 3 finals, one each to Djokovic, Tsonga and one to Zverev last year. Federer however had then withdrawn from Cincinnati masters which immediately follows. This year, he has done the opposite. He has withdrawn from Toronto ( the only from top 20 who will not play), and will be playing at Cincinnati, where he has had more success over the years. Similarly wild card Andy Murray who won 3 consecutive 3 Set matches at Citi, withdrew from his QF versus next-gen star Minaur and also withdrew from Toronto.

Looking forward to a great tournament. Would like to see the great duo rafa and Novak playing yet another final.

India’s Cricketer-Politicians 11

Image result for sACHIN Tendulkar MP Pic

At the world level, Imran Khan is the 1st International cricketer and world Cup winning Captain to be a Prime Minister. Football has PSG, Man City, AC Milan and Chelsea striker  George Weah who became President of Liberia. 5 time Olympian Ryoko Tani, called by many as best female Judoka ever, is a Member of Parliament in Japan. Chess great Garry Kasparov and running legend Seb Coe are involved in active politics in Russia and England.

Boxing has 3 examples globally. Pac-Man Manny Pacquiao, the only 8 division world champion in history, who has won 11 Major titles is a Senator in Phillipines. Russian Vitaly Klitschko, a successful heavyweight boxing champion who won 45 out of 47 bouts, including 41 by knockout is the current Mayor of Kiev. Dictator Idi Amin too was a national level boxing champion.

In India we have Olympic medallist Colonel Rajavardhan Singh Rathore as a current Union Minister. Leading sportpersons in politics are Boxer May Kom, hockey legends Dilip Tirkey and Aslam Sher Khan, national swimming champion Nafisa Ali and football Captain Prasun Bannerjee.

We also have many cricket players who have jumped into the political arena, so much so that we can have our very own Indian Politician-Cricketer 11. Here it is, in batting order,

We have 2 successful Indian Openers in our Playing 11, current ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu and Chetan Chouhan.

Image result for Navjot sidhu MP Pic

Sidhu played 51 tests and has 9 Test tons. He has also played 136 ODI’s and has played for India in the World Cup as well. Sidhu became a successful TV Commentator and is well known for his one-liners. As a politician he is a 2 time BJP MP from the Lok Sabha. He was also Rajya Sabha MP briefly but resigned, joined the Congress and is at present an MLA and Minster in the Punjab Government.

Image result for chetan chauhan pic

Chetan Chouhan , 2 times MP from Amroha is also currently Minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government. He played 40 Tests for India, and opened with Sunil Gavaskar against fearsome attacks.

We have a very strong middle order with International stars Mohd Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi,  Mohd Kaif and Vinod Kambli in contention. Unfortunately Only 4 of the 5 can be in the playing 11.

Image result for Mohd aZHARUDDIN MP pic

Azhar who still has the record of 3 consecutive tons in his 1st three Tests captained India 47 times out of the 99 Tests he played, in which he had 22 tons. He has been Congress MP from Moradabad and is expected to contest the 2019 elections from Secunderabad.

Image result for sachin tendulkar hd images

Sachin was a nominated Rajya Sabha MP for 6 years from 2012 to 2018. He will bat at Number 4 which was also his preferred spot in his 200 Test career.

Image result for tiger pataudi pic

Tiger Pataudi will come in at 5. At 21 he captained India and remained the youngest Test captain for over 40 years till the record was taken by a younger Tatenda Taibu. The Nawab will  captain this team as well. In his electoral battle in 1991 at Bhopal, despite Sharmila Tagore, Kapil Dev and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi campaigning for him he lost to BJP’s Sushil Verma. Earlier in 1971 when Indira Gandhi had abolished the privy purse he had contested elections from Gurgaon on a Haryana Vikas party ticket, but was not successful.

Vinod Kambli

Image result for Vinod Kambli pics

Kambli and Sachin had a 664 run world record stand as schoolboys. They played International cricket together but Kambli despite an electrifying start which included back to back double hundreds and reaching 1000 test runs in 14 innings faded away. His brief career saw him have 4 test hundreds and 2 ODI hundreds and he played his last test at only 24. Ironically his average is 54, and someone looking at stats alone will feel why he was dropped. He will bat at Number 6.

Kambli contested Assembly elections as a candidate of the Lok Bharati Party from Vikhroli, Mumbai but was not successful.

Image result for Mohd Kaif pic

Mohd Kaif who was the Under 19 world cup winning captain before playing Tests and ODI’s for India is in the squad but loses the Number 6 spot to Vinod Kambli. Kaif is part of one of India’s most famous wins ever when his 87 in 75 balls partnered Yuvraj (69 in 63) from a precarious 146/5 to chase a gigantic 325 in the Natwest final, which led to huge celebrations including a  shirt waving Sourav Ganguly, which will be a lifetime memory for most of us.

Kaif contested from Nehru’s constituency Phulpur in the 2014 Parliamentary elections but lost to BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Kirti Azad

Image result for kirti azad MP pic

Kirti Azad comes in at 7. He was a member of the 1983 victorious World Cup winning team. Kirti who played 7 Tests and 25 ODI’s is the son of a former Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad. His political career started by winning the Gole market assembly seat from Delhi in 1993. He is a 3 time MP from Darbhanga and is a current Lok Sabha MP.

Manoj Prabhakar

Image result for Manoj Prabhakar elections

Manoj played 39 Tests and 130 ODI’s and is a rare cricketer who could both open the bowling and batting. He has a Test hundred and 2 ODI hundreds. He also has 5 wicket hauls both in Tests and ODI’s which shows his utility. Sanath Jayasuriya’s destructive batting probably hastened the end of Prabhakars career which ended with the 1996 World Cup.

Prabhakar joined the Indian National Congress and contested for parliamentary elections from Delhi constituency in 2004. However he was not successsful.

Ranjib Biswal

Image result for ranjib biswal pic

Ranjib Biswal, a handy batsman and fastish off spinner who could also bowl seam up and keep wickets has 5 1st class tons and over 150 1st class wickets as well. He was the captain of the Under 19 Indian team and led India to Asia Cup win. He has a ton versus the great Waqar Yunus. Ranjib was a Ranji, Duleep and Deodhar trophy regular for a decade from a schooolboy cricketer at 15 before becoming a 3 time MP. He had the rare privilege of being sitting Lok Sabha MP to be captain of a Ranji team when he played versus Bengal and retired from cricket at only 25. Ranjib was also a National selector and the Manger of the 2011 World Cup winning side. Currently he is Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha.

Ranjib will be the wicketkeeper of the team, one of the many allround qualities he had as a cricketer. He will come in to bat after Manoj Prabhakar.

Chetan Sharma

Image result for Chetan Sharma

Chetan Sharma started his test career with a wicket in his 5th ball, that of Mohsin Khan. For me his high point in career was his 16 wickets in 2 Tests in England, which India won 2-0. He also took a hattrick in the 1987 World Cup. Low point for millions of Indians would be Javed Miandad hitting a last ball six off him at Sharjah.

Chetan too like Manoj had a try at Parliamentary elections. In 2009 he contested from Faridabad on a Bahujan Samaj party ticket but could not succeed.


Image result for sreesanth

Sreesanth is the final member of the team, completing the bowling trio with Manoj Prabhakar and Chetan Sharma, with Kirti Azad as the spinner. Sreesanth catching Misbah-ul-Haq and India winning the T20 world Cup 2007 is a memorable memory. He was also in the 2011 world cup winning team and played the final. He played a role in a rare and remarkable Test win in South Africa. As of now he is fighting a legal battle in the courts with BCCI handing him a life ban.

Sreesanth was the BJP candidate for the Assembly elections from Thiruvanthapuram in 2016 but lost to the Congress candidate.

Praveen Kumar

Image result for Praveen Kumar wiki

Praveen Kumar is one of the best swing bowlers from India. He played 6 Tests and 27 ODI’s and one of the highlights of his career was India winning tri-series in Australia 2-0 where he played a major role in both matches. He will be the back up to our quick bowlers, and being an international player ( like Kaif) is unlucky to miss out on the playing 11.

Praveen has joined the Samajwadi Party under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav. He is expected to contest elections soon.

Laxmi Rattan Shukla

Image result for laxmi ratan shukla Mamata pic

Laxmi Ratan Shukla has played 3 ODI’s for India. An all-rounder, he bats well and is an effective medium pace bowler who was a stalwart for the Bengal Ranji team. He was a sought after IPL player as well. He will be the back up for the allrounder spot occupied by Manoj and Chetan.

Currently he is an MLA and Sports Minister for the Mamata Didi Government in West Bengal.

Kiran Kumar Reddy

Image result for Kiran kumar reddy pic

Kiran Kumar Reddy , former CM of Andhra Pradesh is the only non 1st class cricketer but makes it to the team due to his wicketkeeping skills. He was the U-22 Hyderabd Captain of a team which had Azhar as a batsman. Those days sponsors were not available and when Azhar played his 1st Test the kit was presented by Kiran. He is the the back up wicketkeeper.

The final members of the squad are two young politicians , both of whom are sons of former Chief Ministers.

Anurag Thakur

Image result for anurag thakur pic

Anurag Thakur played one Ranji match for Himachal Pradesh when he was HPCA President. As a cricket administrator his rise was swift and he became Secretary BCCI and then BCCI President as well. His father Prem Kumar Dhumal was CM of Himachal Pradesh. Anurag is current Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur. This is his 3rd term.

Tejaswi Yadav

Image result for tejaswi yadav pic

Tejaswi Yadav played a Ranji Trophy match and 2 List A games for Jharkhand. The right arm bowler and right handed batsman was also in the Delhi Daredevils squad for 4 seasons but did not plan any IPL Game. Son of former Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, Tejaswi was Deputy Chief Minister in the Nitish Kumar led Government for 20 months.

Hence the team is as below

Openers – Navjot Sidhu and Chetan Chouhan, Middle order- Azhar, Sachin, Tiger Pataudi ( captain ) and Vinod Kambli ( back up Mohd Kaif who will be the 12th man), Kirti Azad as the spin bowling allrounder, Manoj Prabhakar as the pace bowling allrounder, Ranjib Biswal as the wicketkeeper and Chetan Sharma and Sreesanth as the quick bowlers.

The other members of the 17 member team are Kiran Reddy ( reserve keeper), Praveen Kumar and Laxmi Rattan Shukla ( reverse quicks ) and Anurag Thakur and Tejaswi yadav ( reserves)

 If I have missed any cricketer, do point it out as comments and feedback.



Mukesh; His connect with magical spinner Chandra, his interactions with a Tangewala and more rare trivia.

Image result for mukesh singer imagesMukesh Chand Mathur (Mukesh) is revered as one of our three great singers who performed at the same time, the other two being of course Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi. Mukesh held his own in the midst of these two stalwarts.

Son of an Engineer, Mukesh too had joined the department of public works but his heart and soul was in singing. Interestingly he learnt singing by listening ( from an adjoining room)  to the lessons imparted to his sister from her music teacher. His 1st song in films was “Dil Jalta hai to jalne de” from the film Pehli Nazar when he was just 23. In this song he sounds like KL Saigal , and in fact when KL Saigal heard this song, he had remarked that he did not remember singing it.

Image result for mukesh raj kapoor pics

Mukesh and Raj Kapoor were made for each other. Initially Mukesh was the voice of Dilip Kumar and Rafi the voice of Raj Kapoor but then it was reversed and Mukesh sang for Raj Kapoor. The strong point of Mukesh was the emotion he brought to his songs, and when Raj Kapoor used to emote on screen it seemed as if Mukesh had entered his soul and body. No wonder when Mukesh passed away, Raj Kapoor broke down, burst into tears and said “I have lost my voice“.  He also said “Meri jaan chali gayi. I am the body, the soul was Mukesh”

When Mukesh passed away he had a singing commitment. His son wanted to honour it but thought that no one would buy tickets to hear him and not the legend. Hence he requested Raj Kapoor to be chief guest so that the tickets would sell. The Great Showman agreed and the show was house full.

Mukesh and star spinner BS Chandrasekhar had a mysterious connect. Chandra used to hum his songs while bowling and sang whatever Mukesh song came to his mind. In an ESPN Cricinfo interview he specifically mentions “Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai” and Ye mera deevaanapan hai. Once in a match the great Sunny Gavaskar was beaten by him in flight, and following up he asked Sunny Bhai “Did u hear”, referring to the Mukesh song played loudly by a spectator on a transistor. In fact during matches of Chandra, the crowd used to play his songs very loudly and Gavaskar also says that to motivate Chandra, he used to sing Mukesh songs.

An aside here is that when Tiger Pataudi batted, the songs of Sharmila Tagore were played loudly.

Mukesh, a very good human being was a frequent visitor to Shirdi. Once on a visit, he was on a tonga ( horse carriage) and the tangevala kept on singing sad Mukesh songs. Mukesh jokingly told him “why are u singing these sad songs, sing something else”. The tangevala said “then get off, i will sing these songs only”. Mukesh asked him to come to Mumbai for a week. The tangevala said he cant as his family depends on him for daily rations.  Mukesh then purchased sufficient rations for the family for well over a week and took him to Mumbai. Till then he had not revealed his name. After reaching Mumbai , he took a bath, freshened up and then took him to the recording studio where it was finally revealed that he was the same singer whose sad songs the tangevala was singing. Hearing this the poor frightened fellow fell at the feet of the legend and sought forgiveness. Mukesh lifted him up, embaced him and said that “from today your childrens education will be funded by me.” One child became an Engineer and the other a Chartered Accountant.

That for you is Mukesh. A great singer and a great man. He is immortal and will always be in our hearts.






Prime Minister Imran Khan, Cricketer Nawaz Sharif

Related imageImran Ahmad Khan Niazi, popularly known as Imran Khan is not just one of the greatest cricketers ever from Pakistan, but one of the all time greats of cricket-not just from Pakistan but across countries. Fiery bowler, dependable batsman, charismatic and inspirational captain, Imran has Captained Pakistan to many memorable test match triumphs and also its only World Cup win.

Mian Muhammed Nawaz Sharif, popularly known as Nawaz Sharif is one of the most successful politicians of Pakistan, having been its Prime Minister twice and Chief Minister of Punjab thrice. He has also been leader of the opposition.

Stop Press; Last week of July 2018. Legendary cricketer Imran Khan is all set to be Prime Minister of Pakistan. His adversary Nawaz Sharif has been arrested and is in jail.

This blog however is about Nawaz Sharif’s performances ( whatever little they were) on the cricket field. It makes for amusing recollection and discussion.

There are 4 known instances, lets have a look at them.

The 1st instance is Nawaz Sharif’s only 1st class match where he did not trouble the scorers. This was for Pakistan Railways versus Pakistan International Airlines. Opening the batting, the 24 year old Sharif was out for a duck. His wicket was claimed by Shahid Etemad. Now Etemad himself was no fiery pace bowler Imran Khan. He had just 3 1st class wickets in his short career of three 1st class matches. However Nawaz can possibly claim  that it was his bad luck that he faced Etemad in his lifetime’s best spell of 3/24. In the second innings of that match Nawaz Sharif did not bat, and hence he does not have a single run in his 1st Class cricket career.

Lets move on to the 1987 World Cup. Nawaz Sharif played 2 matches. Now before you jump to conclusions , these were friendly matches and not recognised official matches. The details are as follows.

The 1st warm up game was England versus Lahore Gymkhana and Sharif scored more than his only 1st class score of zero, not hugely more, but certainly more. Philip Defreitas bowled him for 1. Once again Sharif had come out as the opening batsman.

The second game was potentially very dangerous, from a safety point of view. Sharif, once again the opening batsman ( he indeed seemed to love the spot) walked out with Mudassar Nazar for Punjab versus the fearsome West Indies team led by Viv Richards. The opposing fast bowlers were Patrick Patterson ( one of the fastest bowlers of all time), Courtney Walsh, Eldine Baptiste and Winston Benjamin ( who had hit the technically perfect Sanjay manjrekar over the left eye in his debut test).

As per Imran Khan, Mudassar Nazar was appropriately protected (apart from the normal pads and gloves) with helmet, arm guard, thigh pad and even a chest pad while Nawaz Sharif had a big smile and a floppy hat. Imran says that he was surprised that Nawaz played as he was under the impression that he would only be the symbolic captain and go out for the toss. There was genuine concern at his well being, but luckily for Nawaz Sharif, he was bowled – without scoring. The 1st ball reached the wicketkeepers gloves before he could lift his bat, and the second hit the stumps before he could lift his bat.

That you would think was the end of the 1st class and “International career” of Nawaz Sharif. He had other ideas. Once as PM he organised a cricket match at a Commonwealth Head of Government Meet at Harare- and played in it as Opener. It was a friendly match between the heads of Government and a World 11, and other leaders who played in it were Prime Minister of Australia and also the British Prime Minister John Major. Nawaz finally had a double digit score. He was 36 not out. His sycophants say he hit multiple sixes and numerous fours ( maybe their mathematics is weak as it is difficult to have multiple sixes and numerous fours in a total score of 36) but Nawaz Sharif modestly says that he does not remember hitting multiple sixes and may have hit one or two, but he remembers hitting some fours.

Nawaz Sharif also has said in an interview that he did not like if fast bowlers bounced him, but they somehow enjoyed doing so, but he did not mind, as he had a very good hook, and while a six was possible, minimum a 4 was certain.

Thats cricketer Nawaz Sharif’s cricket career for you. His cricket days are over. However he certainly will be hoping for one more innings in his political career. Right now his life itself is at a crossroads, while the more successful cricketer , namely Imran Khan is all set to Captain Pakistan once again, this time as its Prime Minister.