Remembering cricket in 47 degrees

Actor Aditya Lakhia who rose to prominence portraying the role of Kachra — the spin bowler — in the movie Lagaan talks about his favourite moments in cricket, all during the making of the film.

Aditya Lakhia played the role of Kachra in Lagaan.

I am the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick against England in a cricket match pre-independence. So that is a special sports memory that I have from the movie Lagaan. Cricket comes naturally to every Indian and I had played in school and college. Aamir [Khan] and Ashu [Ashutosh Gowariker] are good cricketers too. Not many people know that. Aamir actually plays very well.

We had done many workshops before the cast was selected. Being a spinner with a deformed hand, I had to attend quite a few workshops to get my action and stance. It was very exciting.

And then, we shot the cricket match sequence in the film for 50 days in the blistering heat of Bhuj. That’s why we look tanned. But it made us look real. The temperature was somewhere around 47 degrees.

Kachra [the character] was the last to join the squad, so my shoot was towards the latter part. I was nervous in the company of so many senior actors but they all made me comfortable.

But one thing is that I had to keep my hand in that position right throughout the shoot. It had become a habit even when I came back to Mumbai after wrapping up. It took me a long time to get rid of the habit.

Even now, when the bell rings in the morning and if it is the sweeper, he would ask me, “Sir, kachra?” and I reply saying, “Yes, tell me”.

As told to Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya.