Chennai, Feb 12 (IANS) It is a land of Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan, but the stars of the Hindi film industry were welcomed with equal enthusiasm as they landed in Chennai to play the semi-finals of Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) Saturday. The crowd gathered M. A. Chidambaram Stadium here were seen hooting cheering and enjoying as Sohail Khan's cricket team Mumbai Heroes battled it out for the place in the finals with Karnataka Bulldozers in the second edition of CCL.
And cheering alongside were Bollywood glam girls Genelia D'Souza, Urvashi Sharma and Kanchi Kaul. As Genelia has already worked in Southern film industry before, everytime the camera put her on the wide screen in the stadium, the cheers used to get louder.
Sohail's team boasted actors and filmmakers like Bobby Deol, Suniel Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Apoorva Lakhia, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Sunny Singh, Varun Badola, Raja Bherwani, Angad Bedi, Tushaar Jalota, Varun Rao, Sachin Joshi, Ashish Chaudhary, Vatsal Seth and Manav Gohil.
Although, the team failed to make it to the finals as Karnataka Bulldozers beat them by 53 runs, but the spirits of the members were still high. "The entire experience has been great. I think second season of CCL has been fantastic as there is more awareness, it has become more competitive. The first was almost like a trial but this time it has been great," Riteish told IANS.
Filmmaker Lakhia added "the experience has been awesome I have had a great time. Yes we have done better as a team and hopefully next year we would rock." Actor Aftab Shivdasani also hopes for a stronger comeback next year. "Had an awseome time being part of this incredible squad of Mumbai Heroes. Sad its end of us here in chennai…wish the result would've been otherwise but in 2013 hopefully we will come back stronger..," he said.
The 20-20 cricket tournament has teams not only from Hindi cinema, but also Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Tamil cinema. While actor Vishnu Manchu owns Telugu Warriors, L. Ganga Prasad of GVR Infra Projects is the owner of Chennai Rhinos, and Ashok Kheny of AKK Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. has Karnataka Bulldozers.
Bengal Tigers is owned by filmmaker Boney Kapoor and his actress wife Sridevi, and Kerala Strikers of the Malayalam film industry owned by National Award winning actor Mohanlal. Vishnu Induri, founder and MD of Celebrity Cricket League, is delighted with the kind of response the league has got this year.
"This time it has been great on TV we have great got ratings compared to last season. It matches have been full house. The main reason of success for CCL is the passion that film stars have and they are not treating it as something else they love it and don't mind giving hours to coaching. The matches have also been very tight this time," Induri told IANS.