Monday, March 20, 2006
Since its launch way back in 2000, IIFA has been doing various activities that makes it standout from the other award ceremonies held for Hindi films. One of the important highlights of IIFA is the cricket match which it organizes with the Indian film stars every year. It is almost like a ritual now. This actually started with a Football match that IIFA had organized in the very first year of the beginning of these awards, with one team comprising of the film personalities while the other had the cricket stars of India. The event received immense response from people and so the trend took over. IIFA since then has continued to organize this event every year, bringing together the film personalities to play a match for the audiences live in the stadium. The only change that has happened since the first game is that the sport played now is not football but cricket; which is obvious considering the craze Indians have for the game. Besides, the funds generated from these events are used for social causes making these events a very noble affair.
Keeping this ritual alive, IIFA organized a celebrity cricket match this year as well. The Indian team in the match comprised of the Bollywood Film and Cricket personalities and in opposition with the English team which had British ex-cricketers, actors and singer. It was 25 over-each-side match. Besides the money collected of this event which amounts to Rs.1 crore will be used for the welfare of technicians and other skilled workers from the film industry, which is a very noble cause.
The crowd went wild as their favorite stars from the world of film and cricket entered the field. The Indian team was led by Sunil Shetty, whole claims to be extremely religious about the sport. The Indian team batted first and scored a handsome total of 229 in 25 overs. Ex-Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin was the top scorer of the match who made 64 runs and remained not out. Even Riteish Deshmukh played well scoring 48 runs off 36 balls. Aftab Shivdasani also played a decent innings scoring 56 runs and also taking a wicket. On the English side, Phil Tuffnel proved the most effective bowler who claimed three wickets giving 31 runs.
Like in any other matches, accident did occur in this one too. Actor Ashmit Patel got injured while batting. He was on the non striker's end and Riteish was batting when Riteish hit the ball hard and it came in Ashmit's direction. Fearing that the ball might hit his face; Ashmit tried to stop it with his right hand and ended up injuring his shoulder and arm. He was very badly injured and was rushed to a hospital on the stretcher. However, of all the time that he was on field Ashmit faced four balls and scored 10 runs of it, which is definitely not bad.
In the Indian team were actors Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Arbaaz Khan, Madhavan and Ashish Chowdhry. Some actors were apprehensive on playing cricket in front of the audiences as they aren't really good at it. R. Madhavan was one of such actor, who says to be better at Golf than cricket. Pop singer Jay Sean and model-turned-actor Upen Patel also confessed that they aren't really adapt with the sport.
The audiences did regret a little due to the absence of their favorite stars Aamir Khan and Fardeen Khan who were supposed to turn up for the match but then watching the Indian side defeat the English at a mere totally of 166 kept the atmosphere all charged up.
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