Bollywood Arrives in MCG to Shoot Cricketers


Melbourne, Dec 25: Bollywood has roped in cricketers from Australia, England and New Zealand to shoot a film at the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and then the New Year Test in Sydney.

Brett Lee is among the four Australians making their Bollywood debuts.

An entourage from India's thriving movie industry is due to arrive in Melbourne to film crowd scenes for a new Bollywood film called 'Victory', in which Brett Lee will appear as himself in what his manager, Neil Maxwell, Sunday described as 'a glorified cameo'. It will take two days to film when the leader of the Australian pace attack has a break between matches.

Cricketers from England, including Simon Jones and fellow paceman Sajid Mahmood, and from New Zealand will join Australians Lee, Mike Hussey, Stuart Clark and Shaun Tait for filming at the SCG and North Sydney Oval after the Test.

"I'm really excited to get my movie career under way," said Clark, tongue firmly in cheek.

"To be fair, I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing," the fast bowler added. "It's really about Brett. I'm just one of the extras."

Maxwell said the story is about a young boy from a small town who overcomes adversity to reach the top of his sport. The lead actor is Bollywood newcomer Harman Baweja, who is expected to be in Melbourne to film a scene where he walks onto the pitch during the Boxing Day Test, provided he and the other actors can secure visas in time.

This, obviously, requires co-operation from Cricket Australia. "They have been very supportive. They understand that India is a huge market and it's a good thing for cricket," Maxwell said.

The New Zealanders to feature in the Sydney scenes are the recently retired Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle and Darryl Tuffey.

Lee, whose main focus will be rattling India's batsmen eight years after marking his Test debut with a five-wicket haul on Boxing Day, has a huge profile in India, where he last year recorded a hit song - "You're the One for Me" - with the popular Asha Bhonsle. It reached No. 2 in the charts in India and South Africa.

For Lee, who is on the verge of reaching 250 Test wickets, the appearance will be the realisation of a long-held ambition. "I will do a Bollywood movie one day because it would be so much fun," Lee said after his man-of-the-series exploits against Sri Lanka.


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