Earlier this week, Little Master Hanif Mohammad’s grandson Shehzar Mohammad got married to film and TV actress Sohai Ali Abro in Karachi. Their wedding ceremony was attended by the families as well as the leading showbiz stars of the country. While many on social media congratulated them, many were happy that Cricket and Showbiz once again decided to be together.
Although Shehzar hasn’t represented Pakistan internationally, he is a first-class cricketer of repute, while his father Shoaib Mohammad and grandfather the legendary Hanif Mohammad made Pakistan proud with their performances. Sohai Ali Abro on the other hand has delivered hit flicks such as Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, Wrong No. and The Motorcycle Girl besides starring in countless TV dramas including Pyaray Afzal, Surkh Chandni and Prem Gali.
This is not the first time that two celebrities have married each other; tennis legend Pete Sampras married Hollywood actress Bridget Wilson, Tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Malik got hitched while Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy are making Australia proud as Husband and Wife Cricketers. However, Cricketers falling in love with Actresses is not a new phenomenon, and has been happening ever since Cricket became a religion in the Indian subcontinent, rivaling the Entertainment industry. Read on:
· Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi - Sharmila Tagore
He was the Captain of the Indian Cricket team, she was the Bollywood beauty; together they were the IT couple of India. Long before Virat Kohli fell for Anushka Sharma, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore had been there, done that, and made their fans proud by staying together till death did them apart. They were married for 43 years and Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan is their son, who followed his mother to showbiz, and his sister Soha Ali Khan followed suit. ‘Tiger’ MAK is known as one of the best fielders produced by India and was one of the early Captains who opted to be aggressive than defensive in their approach.
· Mohsin Khan – Reena Roy
Pakistani opener Mohsin Khan was not just a dashing Cricketer on the field but was also the second most handsome person in the team after Captain Imran Khan. In 1983, he married top Bollywood star Reena Roy and after retirement ventured into Bollywood where he also had a successful inning. He shifted to England where he was nominated for his very first film Batwara and later delivered hits in both India and Pakistan. However his personal life didn’t have a happy ending as both Reena Roy and Mohsin Khan went their separate ways, and are now living across the border after their divorce.
· Azharuddin – Sangeeta Bijlani
It was a case of being at the right place at the right time for Indian Captain Mohammad Azharuddin. The dashing batsman was a married man when he fell for Bollywood beauty Sangeeta Bijlani, who was on a rebound after ending her decade-long relationship with actor Salman Khan. He divorced his wife to start his second innings with Sangeeta in 1996 but was kicked out by his father who decided to keep his daughter-in-law and her children instead. Azharuddin’s marital bliss lasted till 2010 when he and Sangeeta went their separate ways, allegedly over his involvement with badminton player Jwala Gutta, something that the former Test Cricketer denies.
· Virat Kohli – Anushka Sharma
Just like Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi – Sharmila Tagore's wedding in the late 60s, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s match made them the IT couple of the decade. They started dating in 2013, got married in 2017, and became parents earlier this year. However it wasn’t smooth sailing for them as when they began seeing each other, whenever Anushka was in the stadium, Virat would get dismissed cheaply. However, he overcame that problem, and ever since turning vegan like his wife, he has been scoring heavily in all formats of the game. His wife can be termed as his good luck charm now!
· Harbhajan Singh – Geeta Basra
Geeta Basra began her career in Bollywood opposite Emraan Hashmi in 2006, at a time when Harbhajan Singh was regarded as one of the most lethal spinners in the world. Nine years and a handful of films later, she got married to the Indian off-spinner and together they began their second innings. She didn’t work after marriage and he preferred Indian Premier League over international Cricket, even then they are considered one of the coolest couples in India. He did try his hand at acting and worked in two Tamil films, after making special appearances in a few Hindi movies.
· Yuvraj Singh – Hazel Keech
It wasn’t a surprise when Yuvraj Singh chose to marry Bollywood actress Hazel Keech; both were young, good-looking, and popular; add to that Yuvraj’s father Yograj Singh’s second innings in Bollywood and you have a perfect filmi family. Not many know but when he was a kid, Yuvraj even appeared as an extra in a Bollywood flick, so falling for the Bodyguard beauty was always on the cards. The two got married in 2016 when he was still part of the Indian national team and Hazel adopted the name Gurbasant Kaur, given to her by Sant Balvinder Singh during the wedding ceremony.