A match made in Bollywood!


A match made in Bollywood!

PAKISTAN’S CRICKET captain, the dashing Shoaib Malik, is dating former Miss India and Bollywood actress Sayali Bhagat.

By (TOI)

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Published: Sat 30 Aug 2008, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:52 PM

A reporter bumped into them at a South Mumbai hotel where Shoaib was staying when they ventured into a beauty parlour in the lobby.

Sayali, of course, is instantly recognisable; but Shoaib pretended to be somebody else! When he realised that he had been well caught, the Pakistani cricketer gamely signed autographs for hotel staff.

Sayali, who made her debut opposite Emran Hashmi in The Train, had hoped to keep their relationship under wraps.

“We need more time because we are just getting to know each other,” she explained.

Shoaib, meanwhile, could not have started off on a more sticky wicket: he was recently in the news when a Hyderabadi family claimed that he had married their daughter. Sayali defended her man, “This was a marriage proposal that he said no to. Those allegations have been legally proved baseless.

Shoaib was always single!”

They met at a store opening in Delhi last year and since then, kept in touch via email and occasional phone calls.

“It’s not easy, especially when he is in Pakistan,” admitted the former beauty queen. But she’s bowled over by Shoaib’s effort to make things work. “It’s so flattering, he makes special trips just for me and showers me with attention. I am in love, I guess,” Sayali said of her cricketer boyfriend who faces the tricky task of answering the Pakistan media’s questions on her.

She’s hoping this will be a Jodhaa-Akbar kind of story and said, “Our religion is not an issue, I am more concerned about the distance between us.”

But, Sayali accepts that their romance might face political interference. “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I believe when you want something from the heart- the whole universe conspires to get it for you. I hope that happens for us,” she said. Meanwhile, films continue to happen for her and cricket for him. He’s “cool”

about her work but sometimes expresses insecurity over her hot Bollywood’s male co-stars! And she, having heard all the stories about how cricketers score off the field, hates to think of him on long tours. “I keep imagining all kinds of things when I cannot reach him,” Sayali said wistfully.

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