A day in January of 1962 saw Raj Kapoor knocking over Vijay Kumar’s off stump, Pran showing off his batting skills, I S Johar doing a Shoaib Akhtar by running in from the boundary rope, and Asha Parekh taking Waheeda Rehman’s wicket.
These visuals form part of a throwback video of a friendly cricket match that Bollywood stars played in 1962 to raise money for the Cine Workers Relief Fund.
The match also saw Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Mehmood, Prem Nath, Joy Mukherjee, Johnny Walker, Jabeen Jalil, Shubha Khote, Manoj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Agha, Nanda and Raj Kumar among others on the cricket pitch.
The black-and-white video, directed by Kuldip and produced by Dileep Khosla, featured veteran actor Raj Mehra as the commentator.
Away from the set light, the character costumes and the star glory, these actors wore their sportsperson avatars and got ready to get dirty on the field. The match was played between Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor’s teams.
While both the teams showed equal competitiveness, what really warms the heart is the display of camaraderie between these reigning stars and the amount of fun they had on the cricket pitch.
One can see I S Johar and Johnny Walker in their typical comical form, sometimes running outside the pitch, sometimes walking in slow motion. At one moment, Raj Mehra is heard saying, “Khelne aaye the cricket, per shuru kardi kabaddi.”
Dilip Kumar made up for his late entry with his chivalry as he escorted Waheeda Rehman and other women team members to the pitch. Skipper Raj Kapoor followed suit and was seen cheering especially his women team members after they lost their wickets.
The two captains, along with Shammi Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman, were among the highest scorers in the match which was won by Raj Kapoor’s team.
As players on both the sides queued up to collect prizes from the sponsors, it was heartening to see Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor act as the caring captains patting their players’ back and making sure each of them got their due.
For viewers of classic Bollywood, the video is a way to relive the times gone by. While for the younger audience, it is a sneak peek into the camaraderie and also the ordinariness of the actors that we know as legends today.
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