YouTuber, anchor and actor Sahil Khattar is making his Bollywood debut with the film ’83’, playing the character of the former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani. The actor shares how his bald look made for a funny encounter with the cricketer when they met for the first time.
Recalling his meeting with Kirmani, Sahil said in a conversation: “As we all can see that one common factor in both of us is our bald look. So when I met Kiri bhai for the first time, he reacted to me, saying, ‘Are! Kiri bhai!’. I said to him, ‘No sir, you are Kiri bhai.’ He said, ‘No, no sir, you are Kiri bhai, I am a lookalike’. And both of us started laughing out loud and then he hugged me.”
Continuing his walk down memory lane, Khattar said; “It was such a delightful meeting followed by a conversation that offered me insights into the kind of personality Syed Kirmani is. Of course, the more I got to know him, the more I realised the responsibility I have taken up to portray him on-screen. But I can’t thank my stars enough to give me this opportunity.”
As Khattar played the wicket-keeper in the film, he admitted, the training part was the most painful one.
“Imagine the number of squats I had to do every single day!” Khattar said. “I am not a born sportsman and Kiri bhai and every player of the 1983 World Cup-winning team were trained cricketers. For a wicket-keeper, squatting, moving the body from one side to the other becomes their second nature. I was getting into that zone through training.”
He continued: “Honestly, after a point of time, I was feeling like I don’t have my back and legs. It was so painful to hold and pose throughout the performance as an actor while squatting like a wicketkeeper! But eventually, when the final result came out, we all felt that it was worth the effort.”
Asked how his meeting with Kapil Dev turned out, Khattar said: “I tend to talk a lot and do all kinds of fun, games and ‘masti’, so after our meeting, Kapil sir said, ‘Sahil is such a naughty boy!'”