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Bollywood biopics on Indian cricketers that are in the works

Bollywood and cricket are undoubtedly a religion for the masses. No wonder then, many cricketers’ stories are fodder for filmmakers

Sushant Singh Rajput is all set to portray the role of India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a biopic helmed by Neeraj Pandey.

Sushant Singh Rajput is reportedly all set to portray the role of India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a biopic helmed by Neeraj Pandey.
Sushant Singh Rajput is reportedly all set to portray the role of India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a biopic helmed by Neeraj Pandey. and Cricketer MS Dhoni.

The filmmaker who has films like Special 26 (2013) and A Wednesday (2008) in his repertoire hopes to capture India’s celebrated small-town hero’s journey on celluloid. The film will hit the marquee next year. Dhoni is not an exception, by the looks of it; Bollywood seems to be gearing up for films on cricketers highlighting their lives both on and off the pitch. Here’s a look at films on men with the willow.

Mohammed Azharuddin- Emraan Hashmi
Apart from his batting prowess, the former Indian captain is known for his trademark upright collars and top-of-the-line watch collection.

Mohammed Azharuddin- Emraan Hashmi
Emraan Hashmi and (inset) Mohammed Azharuddin

The match-fixing scandal in 2000 ended his cricketing career but he continued to make headlines with his personal life that included his marriage and subsequent separation from Sangeeta Bijlani and his rumoured affair with badminton pro, Jwala Gutta. There was further turmoil in his life when he lost his son, Ayazuddin in a road accident. Azhar, later joined politics in 2009 contesting as an MP from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. Ekta Kapoor is planning a biopic on the wristy batsman with Emraan Hashmi playing the role of Azhar. Recently, the film’s writer, Rajat Arora, and the actor were discussing the film’s script at a suburban hotel when they bumped into Azhar. If the buzz holds true, then the Hyderabadi cricketer has been paid a whopper to acquire the rights to his story.

Kapil Dev-Shekhar Kapur
In 2001, there was talk about a film being made on the former India cricket captain who led India to victory in the 1983 World Cup.

Shekhar Kapur
Shekhar Kapur was planning a biopic on Kapil Dev

Shekhar Kapur was slated to produce the film with Anurag Kashyap penning the script. There was a speculation that the film would be titled Kapil Da Jawaab Nahin as a take off to one of his endorsements of his time. At that time, Kapur and the cricketing legend had stated that there were plans, but it was too early to talk about it.

Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi- Saif Ali Khan Pataudi
It was reported that Saif Ali Khan was contemplating making a film based on his cricketer father, the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, better known as Tiger Pataudi.

Saif Ali Khan and (inset)  Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Saif Ali Khan and (inset) Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi

Saif, however, said that it was important to get the right script and he would do it only if he felt that everything was perfectly in sync to recreate the life and times of his father.

1983 World Cup

Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan who directed the sports drama, Lahore (2009), is working on a film based on the 1983 World Cup victory.

Kapil Dev and filmmaker Sanjay Puran  Singh Chauhan
Kapil Dev and filmmaker Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan

The filmmaker is trying to gather information from the cricketers, who were part of the squad, including Kapil Dev and Balwinder Singh Sandhu. The film has been titled 1983 and is currently in pre-production. The cast is yet to be finalised. 

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