Harman Baweja plays cricket with star sportsmen for ‘Victory’

Mumbai, July 29 (IANS) Making a movie on cricket isn’t easy – as Harman Baweja has discovered. The budding actor shared the pitch not only with Rajasthan’s seasoned Ranji Trophy players, but also Australian players like Brett Lee and Stuart Clark for “Victory”.

In debutant director Ajit Pal’s film, Harman plays a professional cricketer and was pitched against real-life sports heroes. Suffering from serious sunstroke, Harman told IANS: “Earlier in Australia, I played with Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mike Hussey. I’d like to think I looked authentic enough playing with them.

He’s currently shooting with Ranji Trophy players like Mohammed Ahmed and Abhijeet Sharma.

“Now I’m playing with Rajasthan’s Ranji players. And I’m having a ball because although I’m playing a cricketer I’m playing for real. Man, you can’t fake it with these guys. And considering Rajasthan has just won the IPL (Indian Premier League), you can imagine how good these guys are at the game.”

To ensure complete authenticity in the cricket scenes, former player Praveen Amre was deployed all through the shooting. “Praveen Amre was part of the Indian team in the mid-1990s. We didn’t want to falter for even a bat of an eyelid, pun intended. Hence the expert advice,” said Harman, who debuted with the futuristic “Love Story 2050”.

The cricket scenes being shot in Jodhpur show how Harman’s character evolves to become a star-cricketer. “It’s the story of a cricketer Vijay Shekhawat’s rise from a small town player to a national level cricketer. My big moment came when these Ranji players said I played well. They told me there’s a lot more to cricket than just the shot.

“They said I looked convincing in the way I wore my helmet, gloves, stood my ground, ran and connected with the field. I worked on all of that. “As far as playing the game goes, I was a cricket player from school and college. So I only needed to brush up the game. It was getting the other details about a cricketer’s personality right that was tough.”

Last Thursday, Harman played cricket for 12 hours on the trot.

“By the end of it, I was ready to collapse. Everyone else in the crew had breaks. They ran under trees, checked the monitor in the shade while I had to stand in the burning sun and play non-stop for 12 hours, rehearsing and doing final takes. I’m so exhausted by the heat I can collapse right now,” said Harman.

— By Subhash K. Jha


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