Gaurav Kapur and Shibani Dandekar's chat show is about life of cricketer's wives

Aug 19, 2018, 07:34 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Gaurav Kapur and Shibani Dandekar's chat show, Miss Field, is one that says a cricketer's wife is much more than the lady clapping in the stands

Gaurav Kapur and Shibani Dandekar's chat show is about life of cricketer's wives
Pic/Shadab Khan

The first episode of Miss Field sees Shibani Dandekar talking to Aesha Dhawan, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan's wife. Dandekar recalls the first time she met Aesha, when she was following Hyderabad during an T20 season she was hosting. "We were sitting watching the match, and Shikhar got out, and she was just like 'oh, he is going to get it tonight'.

She is not the 'oooh, baby, it will be alright' kind of wife. She is an Australian, divorced mother of two, who married a Delhi boy. And that's what she says, 'I am who I am, and you can take it or leave it'. She is a proud housewife, who talks about how she only sees him when they are on tour, as she lives in Australia and he is here in India. She also talks about kicking his a** when he doesn't do well," says the 38-year-old anchor. It's that kind of insight that Dandekar and Gaurav Kapur, the producer and man behind the show, wanted to give the audience. Both have been regulars on cricket fields, as hosts during world cups or T20 matches, and hence, have the access one requires to envision such a show.

The show premiered last week on Kapur's YouTube channel, and has five episodes featuring Aesha Dhawan, Priyanka Raina, Dipika Pallikal Karthik, Mayanti Langer and Rushma Nehra in a joint interview with Sagarika Singh. "We wanted to make a non-TV show, where it's less formal, and allows us to have to have complete creative liberty," says the 40-year-old actor/anchor.

At a time when management asked Indian cricket wives and girlfriends to be sent back during the current Test series with England, the show will put the spotlight on these wives, who as Kapur says, are "really cool, accomplished women, and top professionals, who just happen to be married into cricket". When we talk about the ban, both Dandekar and Kapur scoff. "I don't even know how people come up with these things. The cricketer has only trained for it all his life, and his wife showed up only now, so how is she responsible for him having no skill, or performing badly on a specific day? This show is about giving them an identity.

They have their own stories to tell, and they are the rock," says Dandekar. These stories include Priyanka Raina, who talked about her non-profit organisation that deals with women undergoing birthing trouble, something she has faced, and Dipika Pallikal Karthik, also a national-level squash player, revealing some astonishing anecdotes. "My chat with Deepika was so interesting. She was telling me about when Dinesh travels with her. They would be at an airport and he would say 'where is the car, where are we staying?' And she would say, 'I have booked the car myself, and you will have to pick your own bags, and I have booked the hotel myself'. When she travels with him, everything is taken care of. But she doesn't feel bad. She is like 'I am so glad it's happening for you, and one day, let's hope it happens for squash too'," she adds.

But it's not all serious stories. It's also about the fun anecdotes that the ladies or the hosts share. "Those are hilarious. For example, I was sitting next to Hazel (Yuvraj Singh's wife) during one game, and the people next to us started clapping and so did she. She said a clap means it's good right? And I was like not when it's your team that has lost a wicket. Or the time when I went for dinner with Rushna and Ashish Nehra, and Rushna basically did a match analysis on the table like 'Ashu, why did you go short pitch?'" laughs Kapur. At the end of the day, as they both insist, the show is now about a juicy, scandalous interview with the cricketer wives, but as Dandekar says, "An honest and true one — it's about giving everyone an insight into who they are as people."

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