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Rhinos race ahead

UDHAV NAIG
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Event The Celebrity Cricket League saw actors give their best shot to the game

team spiritWinners Chennai Rhinos and (below) Vishnu and Vikraanth
team spiritWinners Chennai Rhinos and (below) Vishnu and Vikraanth

The Celebrity Cricket League is a rare event that puts actors under pressure to perform without the convenience of a re-take. Some of them looked bemused and even out of place when thousands of fans hooted and whistled for them on the cricket field. “It is different, actors don’t perform without directors,” chuckled Vishnu, one of the main stays of team Chennai Rhinos.

But almost every actor, including the big stars, participated with sincerity. “People may think we do this for fun, but we are competitive,” said Vikraanth, another important member of the team. Cricket has been a great leveller for these upcoming stars. On the cricket field, star power means very little; its the team management that lays down the rules.

Getting so many movie stars from different parts of India to participate in an IPL-like tournament can be a logistical nightmare. Vishnu Vardhan Induri, who founded the portal Bharat Student, is the brain behind this success. “This is the first-ever tournament in the world with celebrities participating in such large numbers,” says a spokesperson of CCL. “We didn’t expect this sort of success,” says Vishnu Vardhan, who admits that he is surprised at the passion shown by the players.

Chennai Rhinos, the champions of the last two editions were already out of the tournament by the time they took the field against Bengal. But that didn’t stop them from enjoying the day. Arya, Vishal, Jiiva and other stars prepared for the game with enthusiasm and meticulousness that you come to expect from professional cricketers.

After Bengal elected to bat and posted a paltry first innings score of 106 in 20 overs, Vikraanth bludgeoned his way to a half century helping Chennai Rhinos to win.

UDHAV NAIG

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