In a case of life imitating art, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar reprised his on-screen role as a cricket-loving don at the India-Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy match in Birmingham on Saturday.
Akshay took time out of his holiday in New York to fly into Britain for the much-anticipated cricket clash at Edgbaston Cricket Ground as a promotional stunt for his forthcoming film Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai Again, in which his character Shoaib plays a cricket-loving gangster who also wields excessive fixing powers on the game.
"As a company known for pushing the envelope on marketing, we will have our Shoaib attending the India-Pakistan match at Edgbaston. Cricket is a perfect fit with his character in the film, as evidenced in the film's first trailer as well," said Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, the company behind the film set for an August 15 release worldwide.
Kumar's character in the reel version also cheers on a key India-Pakistan match, echoing underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's alleged match-fixing nexus in the Indian sub-continent.
The latest installment of the entertainer, which follows the success of Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai back in 2010, is set in the 1980s and also stars Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan and Sonali Bendre.
The gangster drama, directed by Milan Luthria and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor, was supposed to hit the screens to coincide with Eid on August 8. However, it will now get an Independence Day release to avoid a clash with Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express.