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Tainted Indian cricketer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth will be seen in the dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’s season seven. However, he is not the first to have participated in a reality or a dance show. Sudatta Mukherjee looks at other cricketers who have appeared on the television around the world.
Harbhajan Singh in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena – Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has taken 694 wickets in international cricket across all formats, joined hands with television actress Mona Singh to participate in a dance show Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. They won the best dancers award and the title. They danced to the Nagaada nagaada baja from the hit film Jab We Met in the finale.
Nikhil Chopra in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena – Former Indian cricketer and analyst Nikhil Chopra also participated in the same dance show. His partner was Barkha Bisht Sengupta, who has acted in some famous Bollywood movies such as Rajneeti and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela.
Vinod Kambli in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena – The former India middle-order batsman had shaken his legs with Shama Sikander for Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. Kambli has also acted in two films — Annarth in 2002 andPal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat in 2009. Kambli has also appeared in a TV serial on DD National called Miss India in 2002.
Irfan Pathan in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena – Irfan Pathan, who was a core part of the Indian team till 2006, also participated in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena with Ashima Bhalla, who has acted in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Assamese films.
Sanath Jayasuriya in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5 – Former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya participated in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa in 2012. With his partner Suchitra, he was seen dancing to Salsa and also danced with Madhuri Dixit. Later on Jayasuriya said, “The show is completely different from what I do in lifebut I enjoyed it thoroughly. The contestants are talented and hard working. The three wonderful judges [Madhuri, Karan Johar and Remo D'Souza] were really warm towards me, especially Madhuri.” In one episode, Madhuri asked the legendary cricketer to sing a few lines from a Sinhalese song. In return, Jayasuriya asked her to match steps with him to popular Sri Lankan dance form Baila in another episode of the show. She also taught him the right moves of Indian classical dance.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6 – Former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth was seen shaking his legs in the season six of the dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Before joining the show, Srikkanth had said, “I am completely zero when it comes to dancing. What isdance? It is just when you are in a good mood, you just start jiving to a rhythm… you start moving and your body starts shaking. That is what it is.” However, he was the second contestant in the show to be eliminated that season.
Darren Gough in Strictly Come Dancing – Former England cricketer participated in BBC’s dance show Strictly Come Dancing in 2005. According to reports, the England bowler had requested the selectors to not pick him for the England’s tour of Pakistan in 2005 as he wanted to spend some time with his family but later on it was discovered that he had signed a deal to take part in the dance show. Amazingly, Gough won the title with his dancing partner Lilia Kopylova.
Mark Ramprakash in Strictly Come Dancing – The very next season of Strictly Come Dancing saw former English batsman Mark Ramprakash participate. Along with partner Karen Hardy, he won the title in 2006 and become the second cricketer to win the show in consecutive years. Ramprakash played 52 Test matches for England.
Michael Vaughan in Strictly Come Dancing — Former England skipper Michael Vaughan was one of the first celebrities to be revealed for the tenth season of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. However, unlike Gough or Ramprakash, he could not manage to win it.
Phil Tufnell in Strictly Come Dancing — Former English cricketer Phil Tufnell, who made a name for himself as a television personality was also a participant in Strictly Come Dancing. He also did not manage to win.
Shoaib Malik’s with wife Sania Mirza in Nach Baliye 5 –Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik who married Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, participated in the dance show Nach Baliye in season five. However, the couple was in the show as special guest for few episodes.
S Sreesanth in Ek Haseena Ek Khiladi – Long before Sreesanth participated in JDJ season seven, the Kerala-born cricketer participated in Ek Haseena Ek Khiladi. Her dancing partner was Surveen Chopra.
(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)
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