Swinging with dancers

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Showtime Wasim Akram
Showtime Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram says ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina’ is not a distraction for cricketers

Wasim Akram is in news these days for judging a dance show, Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, with actress Sushmita Sen on Colors. Wasim says he used to do a bit of bhangra as a youngster but he can’t do modern dance steps. Then what is he doing as a judge in a dance reality show? “I asked the same question to the organisers and I was told I am not supposed to comment on the technical side of dance. I am there to boost the morale of the cricketers and judge their effort.”

Akram has been quoted off the record that he is being paid much more for each episode of the reality show in comparison to what he used to earn for a day’s play in cricket. “Yes, I won’t need to work after the show!” he retorts with a smile. Then he clarifies,

“I meant television as a whole pays much more than cricket. It includes my commentary and endorsements.”

A distraction?

Isn’t it a distraction for cricketers amidst the hectic season? “In the subcontinent, the media has a tendency to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Baat ka patangad banane main mazaa aata hai. Most of the portion of the series was shot after the Asia Cup when the cricketers were free. They are playing cricket for the last 20 years, a little bit of dancing couldn’t distract them.”

But some of the cricketers on the show like Sreesanth have been out because of attitude problems. And such shows are known to fan attitude. “See, Sreesanth is a young fast bowler who bowls at a pace of 135-140 km/hr regularly. If he won’t show attitude then who will?” he asks. Akram says Dinesh Karthik is one player who has shown tremendous improvement during the show.

“When he came he looked as if he was wicket keeping. Sreesanth and (Vinod) Kambli have a natural flair. Harbhajan works hard but is still rusty. The good thing is all of them have taken the job seriously.” He feels such a show could be a hit in Pakistan but players won’t agree to participate. He knows his chemistry with Sushmita is the talk of the town. “We share a good rapport and respect each other’s views. I am a fan of her acting. We first met in Dubai during an event to raise money for Imran Khan’s hospital.”

Akram says her presence is one of the reasons behind him accepting to judge the show. “She has taught me the finer nuances of dance, things like lip sync and stepping. Now I can point out to the dancers when their lips are not in sync with the song. It is a tremendous achievement for me.”

Akram is a diabetic and has been able to fight the debilitating disorder quite successfully. “You need to understand your body system. I do the right kind of exercises and avoid sweets and oily stuff. My motto is to never give up.”





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