Shah Rukh Khan with his impeccable sense of comic timing once asked offspinner Harbhajan Singh in an awards ceremony “Aur Bhajji, Aap ke dil mein kya Bas raha hai” (What is residing in your heart). Thereby the world first officially heard about Harbhajan’s love interest. Later Bhajji married Geeta Basra.

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Bollywood and Cricket are inextricably linked and so are their protagonists. Currently, the most loved Cricket-Bollywood couples are Indian captain Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma and Zaheer Khan and “Chak De” star Sagarika Ghatge too are set to get married in November 2017.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma
Zaheer Khan and "Chak De" star Sagarika Ghatge
Zaheer Khan and “Chak De” star Sagarika Ghatge

While there are many unsubstantiated relationships/affairs rumours such as Salim Durrani-Parveen Babi, Sandeep Patil-Debashree Roy, Imran Khan-Zeenat Aman, Yuvraj Singh-Deepika Padukone and more, there are some confirmed relationships as well. These can be divided into the following two categories;

Those which culminated into marriage;

Tiger Pataudi and the beautiful Sharmila Tagore are one of Bollywood’s most loved couples of all time. Their marriage was extremely successful.

Mohd. Azharuddin was already married when he met Sangita Bijlani and he divorced his first wife Naureen to marry her. However, ultimately their marriage did not last either. A biopic has been made by Ekta Kapoor named Azhar in which Emraan Hashmi and Nargis Fakhri play the role of Azhar and Bijlani while Prachi Desai plays the role of Naureen.

Mohd. Azharuddin And Sangita Bijlani
Mohd. Azharuddin And Sangita Bijlani

Pakistani Test Player Mohsin Khan who has a Test 200 at Lords, married Reena Roy. He also acted in several Hindi movies. Sadly their marriage did not last and he moved back to Pakistan while she continued to stay in Mumbai with their daughter.

Yuvraj Singh recently got married to Hazel Keech, a model/actress of British and Mauritian descent who had acted in the movies Billa and Bodyguard as well as featured as a minor player in several of the Harry Potter movies.

Yuvraj Singh And Hazel Keech
Yuvraj Singh And Hazel Keech

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Those which remained as relationships;

Legend Gary Sobers was briefly engaged to Anju Mahendru after he visited India during the 1966-67 tour by the West Indies team. However, they did not get married. Reportedly in 1969 Sobers wrote an apology letter to Anju and took her permission to marry Australian Pru Kirby.

Master Blaster Viv Richards and Neena Gupta had an open affair. They also had a daughter Masaba who is a well-known designer today. This was an unprecedented step by Neena Gupta to bring her child up as a single mother.

Current Indian coach Ravi Shastri and Amrita Singh too were apparently romantically involved and came on the cover of a magazine together.

Allegedly so were actress Nagma and Sourav Ganguly and Nagma enigmatically says; “career was at stake, so we parted”. Whose career, maybe hers, maybe his, maybe of both.

Readers, Have I missed any Bollywood actor-Indian Cricketer pair? Let us know in the comment section below!

Ritesh Misra is an IRS officer currently based in Mumbai. He blogs & tweets @riteshmisra

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