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Playing for India-Pakistan match wonderful: celebrities

By Viral Bhayani, IANS

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They lost the cricket match to Pakistan, but a team of Indian celebrities came back beaming because they had won hearts.

The match in question - the Indo-Pak Celebrities Peace Cricket Match - was held, not in Pakistan but in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week.

It was full of suspense, action and excitement.

The star line-up from India included Sunil Shetty, Mahima Chaudhry, Kunika, Nausheen Ali Sardar, Sanjay Kapoor, Dino Morea, Sohail Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Sonu Nigam, Zayed Khan and Sharad Kapoor.

The Pakistani line-up included actors Humayun Saeed, Reema, Resham and Junoon band member Salman Ahmed.

"I am not into cricket but definitely for world peace. I have always dreamt that one day we will all be global citizens with no barriers, no lines of control, and no terrorism," actress Kunika told IANS.

"Being an air force officer's daughter I know about the ravages of war. My dad has fought wars for our country, and as a child it used to scare me immensely. Our generation would ideally like to gift a fearless childhood to every child on this earth.

"The whole team that has worked hard for more than 10 months to put this match together, and every one who consented to appear, or sponsor the event feels the same, I am sure," adds Kunika.

An event sponsored and telecast by Sahara India, it was managed by Shetty's Popcorn Entertainment and Wizcraft.

The proceeds of the charity cricket match will go to Imran Khan's Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and the IFFA Charity Trust.

"This is a very positive move and we are very confident that the entertainment fraternity of both nations will carry this message to the people of India and Pakistan," says Akashdeep, creative head of Sahara's film and mega series department.

"It all started with some friends who are into charity work in Pakistan and who wanted to do a show between two countries.

"It was simply unthinkable (earlier) mainly because of the strained relations between the two countries. But when ties got better, Sahara was approached and it was decided that the match would be held at a neutral ground in Sharjah," adds Akashdeep.

Junoon band member Salman scored a mighty 90 runs while India's Ritesh Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani batted extremely well.

Sadly though, Javed Jaffrey had to be taken to the hospital when he broke his nose while playing.

In the end, the celebrities said, never mind if India lost - the bonhomie generated was their trophy.


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