The second edition of a TV cricket league seems to be sparking ego battles, romance and a lot more
Never before has the game of cricket courted so many controversies at the same time. But then what would you get if you put 200 television celebs in one place? The shoot of Ekta Kapoor’s Box Cricket League (BCL) season II began on Saturday with some high-energy performances by each of the 10 teams. And this reality sports show promises action beyond cricket. Here’s what we have heard so far:
Quirks and beliefs
Ekta is known to be superstitious and she has now roped in numerologist Shraddha Sala to predict the prospects of the playing teams. Sunny Arora of Marinating Films, co-producer of the show, says, “Like they had Paul the Octopus for 2010 football World Cup, Ekta will bring in Shraddha before every match and her forecast will be aired.” So, will the players consult her too? “Officially, they won’t, but behind the camera, we are sure players will approach her to help them decide their game plan,” he explains.
Smitten by you
Ali Merchant, who recently got married to an investment banker, seems to be smitten by one of his teammates. The actor apparently insisted on being photographed with Digangana Suryavanshi of Bigg Boss fame during their team events. When asked about the buzz, Ali says, “It’s great when one actor can connect with another actor, and Digangana and I have a lot of similar interests, especially music. I am glad we are part of the same team in BCL.”
Digangana claims he is only a friend. “I like my team and everyone is just a friend,” she says.
Last year, Karan Patel was the captain of rumoured ex-girlfriend Kamya Punjabi’s Jaipur team. After their alleged split, Patel switched over to the Delhi side, but is playing truant now. A source informs, “He confirms with Anita Hassanandani (of the Delhi team) that he will come for the practice session, but doesn’t show up. As a team, they need to practise together, but his complacent behaviour is irritating everyone. This is not the first time he has done this. Last time during an awards show, when he was asked to come for rehearsals, he promised to be there but ditched at the last minute.”
Karan Patel and Mrunal Jain
We tried to reach Anita about this, but our calls went unanswered. Karan defends himself saying, “My teammates are already aware why I am not going for practice. I have been shooting round the clock and there is no time for anything. Whenever possible, I do manage to go for it.”
The Ahmedabad team has circulated a video of producer Rohit Nag challenging actor Arjun Bijlani (co-owner of the Mumbai side) through a rap. Talking about the video, Mrunal Jain of Uttaran fame, who holds a stake in the Ahmedabad team, says, “We have tried to introduce fun elements and see what our opponents can do off the field. It’s a healthy challenge.”
However, Arjun seems least interested in the shenanigans. The actor says, “I really don’t have the time to respond to nonsensical stuff that goes on Twitter. They could have done this to anybody; the reason why they have tagged me in the video is best known to them. I have not seen the video yet. I am busy and don’t even want to respond to it. I have chosen to ignore it. There are 10
things that I can do, but I won’t make a video and challenge people to do it.”
Responding to Arjun’s remarks, Mrunal says, “Well that just means he can’t do it.”
Missing in action
According to rumour mills, Arjun is upset with the channel and production house’s decision regarding the BCL promos. Says a source, “While Arjun has no problem that Mouni Roy from his team is featured in the promo, he is upset that only women have got prominence while other key members of the team have been ignored.”
Arjun, however, claims that he does not have an issue with the format or with the fact that Mouni is the face of the team. “As an owner, it is easy for me to be in the promo. But I have a lot of other things to concentrate on. I am not that petty to have an issue with such things. Whatever is being done has been beneficial to my team. Why would I have a problem with that? Mouni is a friend and I was the one who gave her the timing and schedule of the promo shoot,” he clarifies.
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