When Zaheer Met Sagarika: Bollywood and Cricket’s Ongoing Love Story

Pop Culture

When Zaheer Met Sagarika: Bollywood and Cricket’s Ongoing Love Story

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

If, like me, you have a habit of refreshing your Twitter and Facebook profiles after every five minutes hoping to have your mind blown, you’re no stranger to the #ZaheerIsAMarriedMan party. One of Indian cricket’s most eligible bachelors, Zaheer Khan, tied the knot with Sagarika Ghatge, the woman known for rejecting the proposal of a cricketer in Chak de India. Life works out in funny ways.

The couple, who had a low-key court marriage last week, have been dominating the attention span of netizens by continuously reminding us about their union with adorable Instagram pictures and attendance of high-profile guests like Sachin Tendulkar, the MP known for his allergy to the Parliament. Zaheer Khan’s wedding is yet another evidence of the long standing love-story between Bollywood and cricket; one whose compatibility even trumps the heart-winning jodi of Old Monk and Coke.

Since time immemorial, Indian cricketers and Bollywood actresses have been eyeing each other as potential mating prospects with the same level of attraction that Rohit Shetty reserves for destroyed cars. But this mating ritual is not for the faint-hearted. If the pages of history are any indication, not every whirlwind Bollywood-cricket romance gets the honour of being translated into a lifetime of marital bliss. Membership to the elusive club of a hybrid filmy-cricket family is fraught with challenges that include the media’s voyeuristic curiosity.

Take Zaheer Khan for example. The dishy cricketer was in a serious eight-year-long relationship with Kisna actress Isha Sharvani, parting ways with her just when the whole world had started expecting their wedding invitation. Zaheer might have been successful the second time over, but not every cricketer, blinded at the altar of filmy love, is that lucky. Bengal’s Dada, Sourav Ganguly’s and Nagma’s love-story remained unfulfilled, as did Amrita Singh’s and Ravi Shastri’s. Yuvraj Singh dated Kim Sharma and Deepika Padukone before getting married to Hazel Keech this year, and M.S Dhoni failed to create some long-time magic with (briefly) rumoured girlfriend, Deepika Padukone.

Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, along with Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, and Harbhajan Singh are then the four dudes with the secret recipe for making a Bollywood-cricketing partnership work. Their club clearly needs more members.

The question is: Will Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma be the next entrants?