Cricketer Irfan Pathan will be seen as the first wild-card entry on the celebrity dance show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Reloaded” and he says whatever he earns from his stint will be used for his cricket academy.
Irfan and cricketer brother Yusuf Pathan have a joint foundation called Cricket Academy of Pathans, which is a self-funded project for the under-privileged children.
“We have a foundation- Cricket Academy of Pathans- and it is our dream project that we launched last year,” Irfan told PTI.
“It is a self funded project where we help under-privileged children… coach them, give them equipments and other things. So whatever funding I get from here, we will use it there.”
For Irfan, a self-confessed non-dancer, the challenge of grooving on a national platform made him sign “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Reloaded”.
“This offer came to me and I took it as a challenge. It took time for me to accept the show… I took two-three months. I am a non-dancer. And this show is about the journey of non dancers and this thing attracted me to do the show,” he said.
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“This is off season of cricket so I thought of taking up this new challenge. I will be able to learn one or two moves.”
The all-rounder thinks if there is a fun element involved in a song then he enjoys it a bit more. He has started the rehearsals and he is having a tough time.
“It has just been two days since I started rehearsing and I am finding it difficult. I think hitting fours, sixes, playing cricket is easy. But that (cricket) is also difficult thing as you go out there and play the game,” he said.
“You can’t compare these two things. If I compare the experience then it is… to remember the step is difficult I forget it… as you have to synchronise the steps with the music… then you forget things. It is a challenge. I hope I can do my best,” Irfan added.
“Both the judges are encouraging. Karan is funny… Shahid is cool,” the cricketer said.
The other contestants this season are– actress Shamita Shetty, actor Ashish Chowdhry, child artist Faisal Khan, popular TV actors like Sanaya Irani, Vivian Dsena, Radhika Madan, Kavita Kaushik, Mohit Malik, Deepika Samson, Subhreet Kaur from “India’s Got Talent” show, rapper Raftaar and Scarlett Wilson.
“I know Ashish for quite some time, I known Shamita because of her sister Shilpa. I have seen Kavita Kaushik’s TV show… I like her. I saw Faisal’s performance he is amazing… These are the people who inspire you,” he said.
“I have interacted with Mohit, Scarlett Wilson and they have made me comfortable. I am looking forward to the dance competition,” he added.
Actress Lauren Gotlieb and choreographer Ganesh Hegde gauge technical expertise as dance gurus on the show.
Irfan expressed his desire to be a part of a singing reality show as he feels it will be his comfort zone.
“I would like to try a singing show. If I get trained in singing then I can become a decent singer. I will be more confident in this space. But cricket is my first passion.”
In his free time, the 30-year-old watches TV shows, other than watching cricket games.
“I like to watch real life stories, real life films. I do watch TV serials but not the emotional ones but entertaining. If cricket is coming on television then I watch that only otherwise films,” he adds.