Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Knight Riders

CHUCK IT! Anil Kapoor warms up at the Dodgers Stadium and (below) with two fans

Anil Kapoor first Indian to throw ‘first pitch’ in baseball

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 14, 2009)

This is not like Shah Rukh Khan pumping his fist for his IPL team Knight Riders in South Africa. Or Preity Zinta waving the King’s XI flag to encourage her’s. This is a bigger sporting honour in the US than all of that, normally reserved for American Presidents, visiting heads of state, pop stars and super athletes; but, strangely, given to our Anil Kapoor in LA earlier this week.

Known as the first pitch in baseball, this ceremonial ritual has the guest of honour throwing a baseball from the pitcher’s mound to home plate to mark the end of pregame festivities and the official start of the tournament. American Presidents from Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Kennedy to DodNixon, Reagan and Bush have all thrown the first pitch at some time for their favourite teams.

Anil, of course, has no favourite team. Nor had he any idea about baseball until he was invited to do the honours for the Dodgers team of LA. The Bollywood actor is in that city and working on the worldfamous teleserial 24. “It’s a kind of cult show, a thriller of the action genre that’s almost bigger than a Hollywood film, and it’s syndicated to 83 countries where youngsters love it,” said Anil. He plays a Middle Eastern leader on a peace mission to the US.

He’s been in LA since February and has got a good six months more to go. But, in the period, Slumdog Millionaire happened… and Anil is now recognised everywhere in LA. “I didn’t know what a huge honour it is to be invited to throw the first pitch, or that I’m the first Indian to do so,” he said in a phone call from LA. But, with great sportsmanship, he accepted and then went to a baseball stadium (“for the first time!”) to practise how to pitch!

“The rules of the game are opposite to cricket,” he exclaimed. “A full toss, what would be declared a bad call in cricket, is considered a good pitch! And, while we run straight between the wickets, they run around in circles. Everything in America is intentionally opposite to the rest of the world! We press down an electrical switch for the lights to come on… there you have to turn up the switch! Cricket is an art, in baseball, you’re trying to kill someone. You take this round bat like what the dhobi uses to wash clothes, aur ball ko maaro, saala!”

But, when he went into the Dodgers Stadium in LA to pitch for the home team in its match against Arizona, baseball aficionados and Bollywood fans thought Anil Kapoor had been pitching all his life! “My hand was stiff from the practise. And I didn’t know what I was doing, but it turned out to be big, and that was the greater fun,” he reported excitedly.

He did make one boo-boo, though. After the game (“which Dodgers won, thank God!”), the Bollywood hero was invited by the opposite Arizona team for a television interview. And, out of respect, they presented Anil Kapoor with a baseball cap with ‘Arizona’ written on it. He wore it and stepped out. The Dodgers supporters pounced on him! “Take it off ! How can you be disloyal to us,” they demanded of their lucky mascot.

By Subhash K. Jha, April 28, 2009 – 11:35 IST

Shahrukh Khan The Elections never seemed more special, what with the whole Bollywood fraternity pitching their vote bank with abundant accountability.

While many of the A-Listers like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan will make sure they’re in Mumbai on April 30 to cast their vote, Shah Rukh Khan is going to go a step further.

He will be flying down from South Africa with his ‘Knight Riders’ team just for a day on April 30 to cast their vote before flying back for their next match.

According to sources King Khan has requested Vijay Mallya who hosts a rival IPL team to lend him a private jet to make the whirlwind visit back a home possible.

Says a source close to the iconic actor, “Shah Rukh is very particular about exercising his voting rights. There was no way he’d miss the chance to cast his vote, or let his team members skip this important day in the Indian calendar. He’s very clear on the matter and would’ve insisted on heading home on April 30 even if a match was scheduled that day.”

Shah Rukh has even inspired rival team-leader Preity Zinta to not slip up on her democratic rights.

Preity too will head back home on voting day with her team. However, Shilpa Shetty and her team would have to skip the vote as they have a match on April 30.

Bollywood Hungama.com


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