Lights, camera, cricket: World Cup in fan Saiyami Kher's travel plan

Bollywood actor Saiyami Kher intends to squeeze in a trip to England amid shooting to catch World Cup action and cheer for Team India.

Saiyami Kher

Actor Saiyami Kher   -  Getty Images

Actor Saiyami Kher has Cricket World Cup plans. The sports fanatic intends to travel to England to catch a game or two.

"I am shooting for a film, but I am trying to attend at least one game," Saiyami, who made her Bollywood debut with Mirzya, told Sportstar.

"As a fan, I am so excited. I don’t think India has ever had such a strong bowling line up. (Jasprit) Bumrah is in top form, and in seaming conditions, he will have a go. India has always had solid batting line-up, now the bowling is also being talked about.”

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Sports, especially cricket, is close to her heart. Being friends with Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma helps fan the embers. Her Twitter bio leaves no room for doubt about her priorities.

It states: “Sport/Sachin/Chocolate/Cinema lover. Model and a student of the craft of acting.” Yes, in that order.

Before her Bollywood debut in 2016, Saiyami was an avid sportsperson.

She played badminton at the national level, and cricket in school and college.

Growing up in Nashik, Saiyami played cricket at home and fell in love with the game.

“At home, we had a house-help, Iqbal, whom I played with initially. That’s how it started. Later, we took up cricket seriously in school."

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Saiyami and her friends got hooked to watching cricket on television, and decided to teach others in her school — Fravashi Academy in Nashik — to play the sport.

“We formed a team and went on to play inter-school tournaments at the state level. I was in the ninth standard then,” she said.

“Back in the day, we didn’t hear much about women’s cricket. But now, the players have done so well, they have made us proud.”

She still remembers how she had to play the role of an all-rounder to help her school team win.

“We were still learning the game, so we had to do everything. It was a new experience for all of us,” Saiyami recalled.

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When she moved to Mumbai to study at St. Xavier’s College, she was asked to join the camp for the university selection trials.

“But I had done a bit of modelling by then, so I could not make it. But even now, I am an avid cricket lover and watch cricket religiously,” Saiyami added.

She is a die-hard fan of Tendulkar and tennis icon Roger Federer.

“I have always been a big fan of Sachin. I admire his work ethics. He is an idol in all sense. I remember the first time I met him was right after his final Test (in 2013). I did not get to talk to him much but I was starstruck,” said Saiyami.

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Over the years, she has had the opportunity of knowing Tendulkar from close quarters and admits to be in awe of his love for the game.

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(From left) Rohit Sharma, Saiyami Kher and Kieron Pollard   -  PTI

 

“Even after retirement, he is still so excited about the game. I met him for dinner a few days ago, and we just spoke about cricket. He answered everything. Even now, he is so passionate about the game,” Saiyami said.

Another sporting strand that connects the two is Federer. “Just like me, even Sachin is a big fan of Federer. So, we end up talking a lot every time we meet.”

Saiyami also hopes her friend and Team India opener Rohit fares well in the World Cup.

“Rohit is one of the classiest players and he is so effortless to watch… Virat (Kohli) is unbelievable, and I am excited to see what Bumrah does in English conditions," she said.

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