The cricket-Bollywood connect just got another angle to it. This time round it is actor Celina Jaitley who had a not so friendly brush with the game or rather the players.
After her performance at a Gurgaon stadium recently, where two ICL teams--Lahore Badshahs and Delhi Giants were playing, a few Pakistani players made some remarks about the actress and poked fun at her as she was walking off.
Commenting upon the security men who had surrounded the actor, the players were heard saying, "Arre itni security ki kya zaroorat hai? Yeh kya Osama bin Laden hai? Arre hatao isko, poore match ka mood kharab ho raha hai."
Trying to ignore the incident, Celina Jaitley says, "We actors have learnt to take such things in our stride." But prod her further and she opens up, "It was such an unfortunate incident. I had given a good performance and was taking a bow. I was walking around the stadium ground, and a lot of security persons had surrounded me as the crowd was going berserk. It was then that I heard these comments. I don't know exactly who passed them, but as they were coming from the players' enclave and were in Urdu, I assume they were made by the Pakistani cricketers."
Expressing her distress over the incident, she adds, "Now I am also being accused of seeking cheap publicity through this incident. Tell me who would like to get publicity through insults?"
Celina has also been involved in a war of words with Indian cricketer Sreesanth. Grapevine has it that she is upset with the fast bowler who is believed to have said that Bollywood actors are chasing cricketers. Tell her this and she is ready to explode. "This happened at a press conference. The journos were relentlessly questioning me over this quote given by Sreesanth. Please get this right. I don't even know the player. I don't know what exactly he said. So I just said that we actors are a busy lot. We don't need to chase anybody. I would like to add now that Bollywood actors don't need to chase cricketers. They just go out and purchase them."
An exasperated Celina says that this whole thing of answering to clear the air gets a bit too much. "Recently, I was a judge at the preliminary rounds of a beauty pageant. The event was right after Holi, and there was some colour around my hairline. I could see the wink and nudge kind of thing happening amongst those present. Finally, a contestant came up to me and asked if I had got married, as I was wearing sindoor. Now what can I say to that!"
With endorsements earning a lot of moolah for the actors and cricketers- who are quite often seen in the same frame- isn't it time that Celina made her peace with these sports stars?
"I agree that the cricketers are a big brand today and lots of corporates are approaching them for endorsements. But we actors too are equally big, and till the time Bollywood and cricket continue to be the two big loves of India, this will not change. I have nothing against cricketers. In fact, I had worked with Ajay Jadeja in a film some time back and enjoyed it thoroughly," she says. And does she have a favourite out there on the field? "Of course, I loved Ravi Shastri when he used to play. From the current lot of players, I am a huge fan of Harbhajan Singh. He is good at the game and has an attitude to match his talent," says the actor.