New Delhi:It seems nothing less than a fatal attraction. The magnetic pull between the debonair cricketers and the Bollywood beauties has fascinated the romantics since time immemorial.
The glamour, the fame and the craze that they generate also pull them towards each other like the moth seeking out the flame.
But in the same breath, the relationship is consumed by the pressures of public life, by professional demands and sometimes even the constant scrutiny their lives are subjected to, eats into the relationship.
In such excruciating circumstances, it's no wonder that these cricketer-actress liaisons never managed to survive the storm. And as in every field, there have been hits and misses. Some cases where the Bollywood maidens have bowled over bat wielding
Imran Khan-Zeenat Aman:
He was the playboy of cricket world and she was the sex goddess in the 70's and the combination was very lethal. Their chemistry sizzled and people waited with bated breath to see if they would finally get married. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived affair.
And while people in general were disappointed, there were many young men and women, who were relieved it didn't work out and that they were spared of the heartbreak.
At one time, Kapil Dev was rumoured to have had an affair with Sarika post her divorce with south film star Kamal Hassan.
Ravi Shastri-Amrita Singh:
The suave cricketer was seen very often with Amrita Singh, setting the rumourmongers on fire. But their affair didn't last too long and the Bollywood actress went ahead and got married to Saif Ali Khan.
Shoaib Akhtar-Sonali Bendre:
The "Rawalpindi Express" met the model turned actress in 2004 during the Indo-Pak series. Don't mind, but the fastest bowler was rumoured to have had a soft corner for Bendre, which must have broken many a hearts among his female fans. But much to their relief, nothing much came of it.
Reena Roy-Mohsin Khan:
It was in 1983 that Reena Roy fell for the dashing Pakistani opener, Mohsin Khan.
They even got married but did not live happily ever after. Later, the two went through a divorce, leaving both of them rather bitter.
Anju Mahendru-Gary Sobers:
Theirs was a "here today, gone tomorrow" relationship. They met, fell in love, got engaged - and then they parted ways almost as soon. It was an abrupt end to a whirlwind romance.
Neena Gupta-Vivian Richards:
The legendary right-handed West Indian batsman and the small-time actress had a very short affair. In its wake, Neena also decided to bear the child out of wedlock.
In the current crop of cricketers, the Bengal Tiger was rumoured to have had a fling with south film actress Nagma. The alleged affair was believed to have affected the marital life of the then captain of the Indian team for a while.
Yuvraj Singh-Kim Sharma:
Yuvraj Singh, the southpaw dasher was also dating with model-turned actress Kim Sharma and the two seemed quite serious about one another. But if rumour mills are to be believed, then they have already hit splitsville.
Zaheer Khan-Isha Sherwani
The young bowler set tongues wagging when he started going around with the Kisna girl Isha Sherwani. But things did not turn out rosy for them either, and yet another love story bit the dust.
While these were some of the 'misses', there have been some 'hits' as well. These include:
Sharmila Tagore-Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Their pair has been the most successful in the cricketer-actress liaison list. Their courtship period lasted for years, after which they decided to tie the knot. Not many expected the marriage to last, but it has, touch wood. Their story is almost fairytale-like in its ingredients -something that many derive inspiration from.
The notorious Indian bowler married Farheen, a popular movie actress after an exciting period of courtship.
Sangeeta Bijlani -Mohammed Azharuddin
The two met at a commercial shoot and then saw more of each other at various other social dos. The already-married Azhar finally broke off his marriage and tied the knot with Bijlani. The couple was also under a lot of scrutiny by the skeptics who gave their marriage a few months. But the two are still going strong and exude the same spark between them even now.
It's tough to have a romance budding under the glaring limelight, to be in public eye every moment, to crave for one stolen moment of privacy - and to have people place bets on whether the relationship will succeed or fail.
But that's the glory and the gore in such 'matches'. All relationships are a gamble, but the ones that make it under the arc lights, amidst public inspection and analysis and pressures of celebrityhood, against all odds are the ones that deserve true accolades.
The balance is not often in the favour of these love 'matches', but then who knows! May be, the fans will soon see some new cases where Amor Vincit Omnia i.e "Love Conquers All."