When I shared a ride with Kapil Dev!

As a youngster, I used to look forward to the duels between tennis icons Bjon Borg and John McEnroe. Even today, Borg remains my all-time favourite sporting icon.

Arjun Rampal.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Much before I became a model or an actor, I was in love with athletics. I was passionate about every sport and made it a point to watch track and field events. Even today, that’s something I really like.

Being a die-hard sports enthusiast, I like track and field events, cricket and tennis. Also, these days, I am getting more and more drawn towards football, and I must admit that I am a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo.

As a youngster, I used to look forward to the duels between tennis icons Bjon Borg and John McEnroe. Even today, Borg remains my all-time favourite sporting icon. It is interesting how times have changed and the rivalries in tennis have only got more intense. After Borg and McEnroe, it was Boris Becker-Stephen Edberg, followed by Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi… those clashes were memorable and something all of us cherish even now. Of course, how can one miss out Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer! I am also a fan of Rafa, watching him is a treat.

When it comes to cricket, I am a die-hard fan of Sachin Tendulkar. I remember watching him at the Centurion in South Africa, during the 2003 World Cup. He got out on 98 against Pakistan, but watching him play, from the stands, was an incredible feeling.

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Sachin. I get to meet a lot of celebrities, so I don’t get starstruck but when you meet Sachin, somewhere down the line, you cannot help but get starstruck.

But then, Kapil Dev was the first superstar I met in person. That was years ago, in Mumbai. At that time, I had just started modelling. I remember, after an event, he was waiting for his driver, who eventually did not turn up. So, after waiting for a while, he asked me where I was heading to, and I told him that I will be travelling down to Lokhandwala (or was it Worli?), and he decided to come along. We took a taxi and went together. It was quite unbelievable to think that I was actually sitting next to my hero, in the same taxi. Perhaps, that’s how life is!

Arjun Rampal is a Bollywood actor.

As told to Shayan Acharya