Stage set for action to begin

Star Cricket

Cricket buffs in the City are looking forward to the Celebrity Cricket League

Working out: The members of Karnataka Bulldozer

It’s that time of the year again when celebrities from different film industries descend on the field to play cricket at the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL).

The concept, which was introduced last year, is going international this season as the inaugural match will be played on January 13 in Sharjah.

The stars have been practising in all seriousness while the anticipation has only increased for the fans.

The stars are practising as early as 6 am to keep themselves fit and to overcome all the weaknesses they faced in the last season. They are pulling all stops to make sure that their fans get the right dose of cricket and entertainment.

Some of the players and fans spoke to Metrolife on how they are looking forward to this season of CCL. Many fans are disappointed that the first match is not being held in Bangalore, unlike last year. “On one hand, it is sad that in spite of being an Indian celebrity league, the inaugural match is being played in Sharjah. At the same time, it will also be nice to see our actors play there,” says Arjun, an ardent fan of ‘Karnataka Bulldozers’.

Sohail Khan, the captain of ‘Mumbai Heroes’, says that there is no question of fans missing the action as the match will be aired live. “Last time, we were all just experimenting with the idea. But this year, we will have the experience. Since we are going to play most of the matches in India, I don’t feel the fans will miss much. Moreover, there are lots of Indians in Sharjah who will enjoy the match,” he adds.

Some fans say that ‘Sankranti’ will be sweeter as the home team will be playing on January 15. “Last year, the CCL was a lot of fun. It’s not everyday that one gets to see stars in such close proximity. With the first match falling on Sankranti, I am sure it is going to be a packed house,” says Prateek, another fan.

There will also be a different treat this season with the CCL introducing two new teams, ‘Bengal Tigers’ and ‘Kerala Strikers’. And with cricketers like Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Saurav Ganguly and G R Vishwanath mentoring and coaching some of the teams, there is going to be more cricket than fun on the field. Says Sudeep, the captain of ‘Karnataka Bulldozers’, “On the outset, it may look as if it’s just fun and glamour but each one of us in the team has taken the game seriously.”

Pressure is huge on the home team as they had come close to winning the cup last year. “We are all set to take on  other teams but in this game, one can never say till the last ball is bowled,” says Tarun Chandra, who is part of the ‘Karnataka Bulldozers’. With all the action starting today, one will have to see if the league can be paisa vasool for the fans.

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