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Cricketers Bowled Over by Bollywood Beauties

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.

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Cricket and cinema are both equally revered in India. A marriage of the two then inevitably makes news and noise.

Many cricketers and Bollywood beauties have fallen for each other but unfortunately not all of them have had happy endings.

The Quint takes a look at some of the relationships between cricketers and Bollywood actresses over the years.

Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli

Everybody’s favourite couple, Anushka and Virat have held hands and smoothly cruised through media reports, speculations and controversies. What stands out here is how steady the two have been even through the most turbulent times.

Remember how Anushka’s doctored lips made headlines, but her beau stuck around playing the anchor? He even backed her all the way during the release of her maiden production NH 10. Well, to Anushka’s credit, it’s easy to lose patience when a nation full of cricket fans accuse you of jinxing its star cricketer’s winning spree. Yet, we haven’t seen her complain ever. What we do see is a growing mutual admiration.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli at the Vogue Beauty Awards (Photo: Facebook/Virat Kohli)
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Geeta Basra-Harbhajan Singh

This starry couple maintained a low-profile all through their three year relationship. We would often catch a glimpse of Geeta seated on the cricket stands along with other WAGs, while Harbhajan made it for film premieres and Bollywood parties with his ladylove. We didn’t really need to speculate any further as the two got hitched on 29 October, 2016.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra at their sangeet (Photo: Twitter/HarbhajanSingh)
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Hazel Keech-Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj might have been linked to actress Kim Sharma in the past but his relationship with Hazel Keech is for keeps. Well, they exchanged rings in Bali and later got married on 30 November 2016. The two had reportedly been in a serious relationship for a few months but it was when the couple was spotted together at Harbhajan Singh’s wedding that we knew this might head for the altar.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech spotted at the Mumbai airport (Photo: Yogen Shah)
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Sangeeta Bijlani-Mohammad Azharuddin

The former Miss India, model and actress, Sangeeta Bijlani, was dating Salman Khan before Mohammad Azharuddin swept her off her feet. Azhar divorced his wife of eight years, Naureen, to get hitched to Bijlani. However, the marriage didn’t last long as the two separated and later got divorced in 2010. Azhar was rumoured to be dating badminton player Jwala Gutta post his separation.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
A photo Azharuddin with Sangeeta Bijlani from the archives (Photo: Facebook/MohammadAzharuddin)
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Zeenat Aman-Imran Khan

This was one Indo-Pak match that made it to the tabloids alone. Former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan and the sultry Zeenat Aman reportedly had an affair which was kept under wraps. But their relationship soon fizzled out, while some think it was because of their nationalities, others believe the reasons were more personal.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
Imran Khan and Zeenat Aman (Photo: Twitter/FilmiGaane)
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Neena Gupta-Vivian Richards

West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards was already married but separated when he met Neena Gupta. The two were involved in a serious relationship but never got married. However, Neena Gupta boldly brought up their child as a single parent and never hid her relationship from the world. Viv and Neena’s daughter, Masaba, is today one of India’s most influential young fashion designers.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
A candid shot from the times when they were together (Photo: Twitter/RamchandaniGP)
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Sharmila Tagore-Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi

The Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi affair and marriage was a trendsetter in the late 1960s. The glamorous actress and the suave cricketer reportedly met through common friends in Delhi, after which Pataudi wooed Tagore in style. Though many speculated that the marriage would not last, the couple proved them all wrong.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
The ‘Tiger’ couple clicked at their wedding (Photo: Twitter/MusicLegendsIndia)
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Kim Sharma-Yuvraj Singh

While Yuvi is now married to Hazel Keech, the actress of British origin (seen with Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor in Bodyguard). The left-handed batsman had swept another Bollywood beauty off her feet a few years ago. Yuvraj Singh and Kim Sharma were said to have been in a serious relationship but unfortunately in 2007, the two parted ways. Some say Yuvraj’s mother Shabnam didn’t approve of Kim and hence influenced the separation. There are other reports that Yuvraj was fed up of Kim’s abusive behaviour.

Mansoor Pataudi-Sharmila Tagore to Virat-Anushka, the eternal attraction between cricketers and Bollywood Divas.
Kim Sharma and Yuvraj Singh. (Photo Courtesy: Imran Siddique Twitter)

(This article was first published on 3 February 2016 and has been updated.)

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