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Top Indian cricketers who acted in Bollywood films

By: Mohnish Singh

In India, cricket and cinema are treated as religions. Fans worship their favourite stars from both fields. Some leading Bollywood actresses are even married to popular cricketers. As the World Cup 2023 fever heats up, let us take a look at some prominent cricketers who have appeared in Bollywood films.

Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev, who led the Indian team to an unprecedented victory in the 1983 World Cup, has appeared in such films as Dillagi Yeh Dillagi, Chain Kuli Ki Main Kuli, and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. However, his most prominent cameo was in Nagesh Kukunoor’s award-winning film Iqbal, starring Shreyas Talpade and Naseeruddin Shah in lead roles.

Ajay Jadeja

Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja made his Bollywood debut with a supporting role in the 2003 film Khel – No Ordinary Game. Sunny Deol, Sunil Shetty, and Celina Jaitly played lead roles in the film. However, Khel – No Ordinary Game turned out to be a complete wash-out at the box office. Jadeja later acted in the 2009 film, Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat, directed by V.K. Kumar. This film also tanked at the box-office making the former Indian batsman switch to cricket commentary and analysis.


Before debuting in Bollywood, S. Sreesanth made his Mollywood debut with the Malayalam-language film, titled Team 5. The same year, he appeared in the Hindi film Akshar 2, co-starring Zareen Khan and Gautam Rode. Both films failed to click with the audience.

Anil Kumble

The ace bowler played himself in the 2008 film Meerabai Not Out, starring Mandira Bedi, Mahesh Manjrekar, and Anupam Kher in lead roles.

Salil Ankola

Salil Ankola, who made his test debut in the same match that Sachin Tendulkar did, played only a few ODIs. He made a transition to the film and television industry in 2000. He portrayed a police officer in the film Kurukshetra alongside Sanjay Dutt and also appeared in the cricket-based film Silence Please in 2003. He has also acted in films like Pitaah, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, and Riwayat.

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