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Home > City Resources > Entertainment > Movies > Interview with Salil Ankola

    New Innings in Bollywood: Cricketer Salil Ankola's journey  

Salil AnkolaCricketer turned actor Salil Ankola decided to give up his injury-prone career as a cricketer and turn to the equally glamorous world of Bollywood. The tall and macho Ankola feels that the injury factor was the catalyst, which spurred him to try his luck in the film industry. He is passionate about his newly found love (acting) and asserts that, like cricket, acting is an exciting profession.

Salil AnkolaAnkola has made his presence felt in teleserials like Chahat Aur Nafrat, Kora Kagaz, Khakhi and Noorjahan. He played the role of a police officer in his debut film Kurukshetra, which was directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. Ankola has also bagged a meaty role in director Guddu Dhanoa's 'Deva'. The film also features Sunny Deol in the lead. Ankola is a fitness freak and loves to tone his muscles in the gymnasium. In addition to netsurfing, Ankola also enjoys music in his spare time. His other favourite pursuits include traveling and cooking.

Salil AnkolaFrom the cricket world to the stage of acting. How would you describe this transition?
It is a nice feeling. Acting is a new field for me and I am enjoying it. Acting is certainly a creative art. As an actor, I get the opportunity to portray different characters on the screen, which I would not even dream of doing in real life. It is also essential to understand every aspect of the character while portraying him on the screen. This requires a lot of patience, self-study and hard-work. I do not feel the need to play any particular role. I want to play all kind of roles from intense ones to light-comedy and action-packed roles. This will depend on the script and the story.

Tell us about your role in director Mahesh Manjrekar's 'Kurukshetra' and your forthcoming movie 'Deva'?
I played the special appearance role of a police officer in my debut film Kurukshetra. Deva is a film by Sunny Deol which is directed by Guddu Dhanoa.

Who is your favourite actor?

I admire Amitabh Bachchan and Paresh Raval. They are versatile actors because they have the ability to fit into any type of role with ease and style.

Which was the most satisfying moment of your cricket career?
The semifinal against South Africa in the Hero cup in 1993 was a memorable match. I effected the run out of Fannie deVilliers in the dying stages of the game. Sachin bowled the last over with success and sealed India's famous victory. I also received the man of the match award for my bowling in one of the league matches of the Hero Cup.

Do you think the Indian cricket team under the captaincy of Saurav Ganguly is showing encouraging signs of improvement?
I feel captaincy is not the issue. Our team needs a psychologist in order to perform well at the highest level. At the same time, the policy of chopping and changing team members should be eliminated. The players should be given ample opportunity to prove their mettle. One should not forget that the players are selected on the strength of their performance. Zaheer Khan is a promising bowler. Zaheer has made tremendous improvement in the past five years. He is a strong bloke and should be persisted with as he has the potential to deliver the goods.

What do you think about the life ban on the former Indian captain Azharuddin?
Nobody is above the law. If a person violates the law, he should be punished.

Would you like to coach promising fast bowlers of Mumbai?
At present, I have not given a thought about entering the realm of coaching. Perhaps, 15 years from now, I might consider taking a decision and of course I would love to coach my son.

As a cricketer, you have seen the ups and downs of life. How do you cope with adversity?
The ups and down are part and parcel of life. I feel that every individual experiences a low point for nearly 70 percent of his total life span. The remaining 30 percent can be considered as the high point of one's life. We should always strive hard to achieve our goals in life. One should not forget that sincere hard work will never go unrewarded.

By : Wasim Siddiqui.
Photographer : Vinayak Prabhu



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