It is unarguably one of the most cherished moments in Indian history. And Ranveer Singh has taken the responsibility of bringing it to the big screen. The actor will be seen portraying Kapil Dev in Kabir Khan's drama that traces India's victory in the 1983 cricket World Cup. One to take challenges head-on in his seven-year-long career so far, Singh is well-aware that replicating a journey that millions of Indians hold close to their heart will be an arduous task.
Ranveer Singh and Kapil Dev at the event. Pic/PTI
"I am honoured to be a part of this great story, but at the same time, I don't know how I am going to do it," the actor said at the special event organised yesterday to honour the cricketing legends who brought laurels to the country, before the film goes on floors. The event saw most players of the famed 1983 squad in attendance, including then-captain Dev, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny, Dilip Vengsarkar, Balwinder Sandhu, Kirti Azad, Ysahpal Sharma, Sunil Valson and Madan Lal.
While names of several top heroes did the rounds, Singh was zeroed in to play the captain, who led the Indian team to victory, under his able guidance. "It is going to be difficult to emulate Kapil paaji," confessed Singh. He also shared that he owes his success as an actor to Amarnath. "I had played Giles Shield during my school days. My friends and I decided to take coaching lessons from the great Mohinderji at Khar Gymkhana.
As usual, I reached late for my practice sessions and being the hyperactive kid that I was, I walked up to him to shake hands with him not realising that my friends are standing in the queue for a reason," he laughed before adding, "Mohinderji rejected me after seeing me play. I think it was a good decision, or else I wouldn't have been an actor today."
It wasn't just the actor who shared anecdotes from his past — Srikkanth regaled the audience as he narrated how he had to cancel his honeymoon since he had to return to India as part of the winning squad to be felicitated by the President. As the crowd broke into laughter, Dev light-heartedly told Khan, "1983 ki team handle karna was not easy. Koshish kar lo, poori India mein mushkil se aise characters milenge."
Khan said that helming this ambitious project was a dream come true for him. "Every filmmaker comes across a story that compels him, from every pore of his body, to bring it on celluloid. I can say, without any doubt, this is that film for me."
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