Anushka Sharma
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Film actors-cricketers: a match made in heaven?

By HT

New Delhi, Jan. 23 -- For several years now, India has had two popular metaphorical religions - cricket and Bollywood. Probably that's why, right from the start, a number of cricketers and actors have been attracted to each other and several of them even walked down the aisle together. 
 
The most prominent of these liaisons has to be Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who got hitched in 1969. It was followed by a number of such glamorous unions in the later years. 
 
Now, in the latest instance, rumours are rife about India's all-rounder Hardik Pandya dating Elli Avram. Such talks come soon after the much-talked about wedding of Anushka Sharma with Indian cricket captain, Virat Kohli. 
 
Also, Indian pacer, Zaheer Khan got hitched to actor Sagarika Ghatge late last year. "I have no personal experience about it but I feel it all boils down to your feelings for another person. If you love someone then the profession doesn't matter at all. But since cricket and Bollywood are glamorous fields, they get a lot of attention and goes through intense scrutiny as well. But ultimately, it's all about love," says ex-India cricketer Aakash Chopra. 
 
Among other examples, Yuvraj Singh married Bodyguard (2011) actor, Hazel Keech, while Harbhajan Singh got hitched to Geeta Basra. 
 
Experts feel they "naturally complement one another". Explains ad whiz Prahlad Kakar: "Cricketers love to marry film stars and vice versa because they want to be with someone, who understands their work, is a professional, and is equally busy. So, they can focus on their jobs and not be dependent on one another for company. Plus, their union turn them into big brands." 
 
Film expert Amod Mehra agrees. "India has two religions - cricket and Bollywood, so it's natural that people from both the worlds get attracted to each other. And what's wrong with that? They are successful, super rich and famous," he says. 
 
On their part, cricketers as well as actors have spoken about their comfort level with each other. Zaheer recently told us, "Sagarika and I are very similar in terms of how we look at life. She has a very simple approach to life and we have similar values."