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Kapil Dev makes Bollywood and cricket meet with Khushii

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS

Once his field scorching balls made headlines. Now India's bowler par excellence, Kapil Dev, is busy raising funds for his new charity organization Khushii.

His first event is a mega, what else, cricket match to be played on Feb 22 between some of the top Bollywood stars and cricketers at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here.

It's called "Score With A Smile", the match that aims to raise funds for causes Dev has long been associated with - care for homeless children, poor shelters and generating employment opportunities for the needy.

"As a cricketer, during my career, I didn't have too much time to really do something charitable," Dev, in an olive shirt and dark pants, told IANS. "Now I want to give back.

"It makes me feel good. It is as the politicians would say 'a feel-good' factor."

Through Kinship for Humanitarian Social and Holistic Intervention in India (Khushii), Dev is working to bring together corporate houses and wealthy individuals - all part of his everyday social circuit - to pitch in social causes.

"It's like telling friends that life is not only about living for profit, we want to spread some smiles too."

As he stood answering questions at the city's Metropolitan Hotel Nikko - where the match was announced Wednesday night - Dev was asked by organizers about several other players. "Have you called (Virendra) Sehwag? When will you call him," asked one woman.

"I've just called him and if you want I shall call him again."

In the match, the Bollywood team led by actor Sanjay Dutt, would also have other stars like Suniel Shetty, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Zayed Khan and Akshay Khanna. For Indian cricket, it would be Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath among others.

Even football poster boy Baichung Bhutia and hockey star Dhanraj Pillai would be pitching in.

Television funny man Sajid Khan and cricket's buxom belle commentator Mandira Bedi would wield the microphone. More an entertainment show than a match, it'll also have singers Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaimak Davar shaking a leg during breaks.

Apart from the funds that'll be garnered from the show, Dev also hopes it'll be a bit of fun for some cricketers before their all-important Pakistan tour.

"My best wishes to them for the tour, maybe this event would let them go and compete their with a smile."


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