Celebrities ready to strike

Celebrities ready to strike

Loud cheers

Celebrities ready to strike

If the Indian Premiere League (IPL) gave a new twist to cricket, the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL), which is now in its fourth season, brought oodles of glamour and colour onto the cricket field.

Although, film stars and cricketers have never been strangers to each other, CCL went a step ahead and got the stars to wield the willow. The heat generated when Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli hit the field is quite different than when the stars roll their arms. For people, ‘filmi’ cricket is fun.

 The CCL will kickstart on January 25 in Mumbai and move to Bangalore on January 26 and head to Dubai before returning to India for the next couple of matches. The film fraternity has been practising for over a month to perfect every move.

They take their role as cricketers quite seriously. The competition for the top slot is intense. Sonu Sood, who is a part of Mumbai Heroes, has been shuttling between practise sessions for CCL and his shooting schedules.

He is looking forward to another season of excitement in cricket. “I had a terrible injury last year but now I’ve recovered after a round of physiotherapy. I’ve played cricket in one form or the other all my life, so it’s all the more exciting,” he points out.
Aftab Shivdasani, another team member of Mumbai Heroes states he’s fortunately not shooting during this season of the CCL.

This has given him more time to concentrate on the game.  “We have in us the zest to win and hope to grab the cup this year. Yes, the competition is intense but more than anything, we will miss the bonding after the season is over,” says Aftab.
Captain of Telugu Warriors team Venkatesh enjoys the excitement, bonding and camaraderie that the CCL offers.

“It’s great to see colleagues from all languages but I think the game is being taken a little too seriously. But it is all in good spirit. There are some new teams this season and we get to see some exceptional players,” he says. 

Every team has brand ambassadors, usually popular actresses, who travel with the team.   Priyamani, a cricket buff, says she will miss being a part of the CCL this year. “CCL is a good combination of cinema and cricket — both forms are crowd-pullers. It’s one of those rare moments when the stars from all languages come together,” notes Priyamani. This year, the organisers say that the CCL has loads of entertainment
packed in.

 Anuj Rai, manager, corporate communications of CCL in Mumbai, says, “There will be Kapil, Manish Paul and Mandira Bedi capturing the action on and off the field. All teams have some top stars, who have joined in. The ticket sales are on the higher side.”

Tickets for the match in Bangalore on January 26 have started selling online. However, tickets will be sold at the counters at the stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mayuk, manager of AKK Entertainment, that hosts the CCL in the City, informs that the ticket prices have gone up by Rs 100.

  The denominations are Rs 350, Rs 300, Rs 250 and Rs 150 (see box).  Sharing a common man’s perspective, Neema N, a student of engineering, says, “It’s the only time of the year when we get to see our favourite stars under one roof. I root for both Mumbai Heroes and Karnataka Bulldozers.”

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