Howzzat? Akshay Kumar becomes bowler for 'Patiala House'

10 April 2010 Bollywood.com by Subhash K. Jha

Action star Akshay Kumar is taking his role as a cricketer in 'Patiala House' so seriously that he has been training rigorously under former Test bowler Paras Mhambrey even before shooting has started.

Paras, currently working with the Indian Premier League's Mumbai Indians team, has been taking time off to coach Akshay whenever possible. Akshay has just returned from his back therapy in Germany and wants to continue training steadily and regularly so that his bowling skills are sharpened by the time he starts shooting for 'Patiala House'.

'Akshay has been training diligently and religiously. His coach Paras Mhambrey even joined him at Malshej Ghat for Farah's film ('Tees Maar Khan'). Because right after that our cricket sequences start in London,' Nikhil Advani, who is directing 'Patiala House', told IANS.

Advani's British sports coordinator Robert Miller of ReelSports, who handled the hockey and cricket scenes in 'Chak De! India' and 'Dil Bole Hadippa' respectively, is here right now finalising the list of international cricketers who will play with Akshay in 'Patiala House'.

'We're looking at international cricketers from all over the world - England, South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh. The fact that the IPL matches are on makes our job easier because Robert can meet and negotiate with a lot of international cricketers while they are here,' said Advani.

The film also requires county-level and regional players who will be finalised after Miller fixes on the big-name cricketers.

'I basically need the cricketers from May 25 to June 5 for the various games that we'll be shooting in England. So we can work our schedules according to the cricketers' date diaries,' said Advani.

This, admits Advani, is easier said than done. 'I've a real uphill task ahead. And I've stopped sleeping with anxiety. But I've one expert cricketer on my team already. My leading man Akshay. You've to see how well he bowls now.'

Akshay is apparently so bowled over by his coach Paras that he now intends to request the former test cricketer to train his son Aarav as well.

This article was first published in Bollywood.com (10 April 2010).
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